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April 2010 Issue
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Scholarships help students to soar


More than 130 of the best new undergraduate students starting at the University of Adelaide this year are sharing in over $1.5 million worth of scholarships.

The University's range of scholarships is aimed at supporting top students, including those from rural or disadvantaged backgrounds.

Among this year's scholarship winners was James Francis, 18, from Kadina, who was the 2010 winner of the Andy Thomas Scholarship; and Samantha Iannella, 17, from Mt Gambier, who was one of the recipients of the prestigious Adelaide Undergraduate Scholarships.

"Scholarships change lives. They are vital in supporting our students, giving them the best possible chance of gaining a quality educational experience," said the University's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.

"Scholarships help to take the financial pressure off students. In some cases it means they don't need to get a job to support themselves while they study, helping them to focus on their education. In other cases it can pay for the essentials of their learning - such as textbooks or a new computer - or to relocate from rural areas to the city.

"Scholarships also act as an incentive for students to achieve excellence in their studies.

"With our range of scholarships schemes, the University of Adelaide is demonstrating an ongoing commitment to educating students based on their ability, regardless of background."

Last month, the University held a special scholarships presentation ceremony for new students in Bonython Hall. The scholarships provided to new undergraduate students at the ceremony were:

  • Adelaide Undergraduate Scholarships - $10,000 per year for a maximum of four years to all new University of Adelaide students who receive a TER score of 99.95 (with no bonuses).
    This year, 24 Adelaide Undergraduate Scholarships were given to new students, with a total commitment from the University of $960,000 over the next four years.
  • Andy Thomas Scholarship - $6000 per year for a maximum of four years, plus the cost of all Commonwealth contributions (ie, HECS fees) to a maximum of four years.

The Andy Thomas Scholarship - named in honour of University of Adelaide engineering graduate and NASA astronaut Dr Andy Thomas - is offered each year to an outstanding student studying Aerospace, Mechanical or Mechatronic engineering.

The total value of this scholarship is approximately $55,000 over four years.

  • Principals' Scholarships - $5000 to assist with education/living costs for the first year of a student's program.

These scholarships are available to students who have made a significant contribution to their school and to the wider community. Students must be nominated by their school principal to be eligible, and they must obtain a TER of 80 or greater (including bonus points).

This year, 109 Principals' Scholarships have been awarded, with a total commitment from the University of $545,000.

At the ceremony, the University also presented the Adelaide Outstanding Achiever Scholarships International, the Adelaide Vietnam Scholarships and the Adelaide Malaysia Scholarships.

Other major scholarships being awarded this year include two schemes aimed at encouraging access to university education for students who suffer some form of disadvantage: the Adelaide Access Scholarships and the Start-Up Scholarships.

Story by David Ellis


Samantha Iannella, 17, of Mt Gambier in South Australia's south-east, is one of 24 recipients of a prestigious Adelaide Undergraduate Scholarship from the University of Adelaide in 2010.

Samantha is studying for a medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery) at the University, pursuing her interests in health care for the benefit of rural communities.

She completed Year 12 at Mt Gambier's Grant High School, studying a total of nine Year 12 subjects, starting when she was only in Year 10. These included dance studies, drama, and English studies as well as specialist maths, maths studies, accounting studies, physics, chemistry and psychology.

"I've always had an interest in the human body, and I'm fascinated by the human interaction between doctors and patients. This was one of the reasons I decided to do medicine," Samantha says.

"Also, there is a real shortage of doctors in country areas. I'm very keen to do my medical training and return to the country so I can help do my part for the community."

Samantha says she is excited about winning an Adelaide Undergraduate Scholarship.

"The scholarship means a lot. It will help out financially so much. Moving from home and relocating to the city, plus ongoing living expenses - these are very real issues that many students have to deal with. I'm pleased that the scholarship will help to give me a high level of financial support during my studies."


James Francis, 18, of Kadina on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula, is the 2010 winner of the prestigious Andy Thomas Scholarship at the University of Adelaide.

James is studying for a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering at the University, pursuing his love of aircraft and aeronautics.

He completed Year 12 at Kadina Memorial High School and also studied a Year 12 subject at Kadina's Harvest Christian School.

"I've always had a passion for aviation so it's great to be able to study a degree that reflects that interest," James says.

"As a kid I was always building model aeroplanes and boats. I earned my glider pilot's licence by the age of 15 and my light aircraft licence when I was 16, so I could fly a plane before I could even drive a car.

"I'd attended a number of Open Days at the Uni of Adelaide and I remember looking through the jet propulsion labs, the sound labs and at the UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) being built by the students. I thought the odds of me getting into the Aerospace course were probably too high, but I tried anyway and I'm really thrilled with the result.

"To get the Andy Thomas Scholarship is just fantastic," he says. "Many years ago I went to a lecture Andy Thomas gave at the uni - it's an amazing thing that he's done with his career, and to receive the scholarship named after him is a fantastic opportunity.

"The scholarship will help to pay for my living expenses in Adelaide," says James, who has taken up residence at St Ann's College, North Adelaide.

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The Andy Thomas Scholar for 2010, James Francis from Kadina, in the University’s School of Mechanical Engineering
Photo by Campbell Brodie, courtesy of <i>The Advertiser</i>

The Andy Thomas Scholar for 2010, James Francis from Kadina, in the University's School of Mechanical Engineering
Photo by Campbell Brodie, courtesy of The Advertiser

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Samantha Iannella
Photo by David Ellis

Samantha Iannella
Photo by David Ellis

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