Natasha’s gift of education

Quality education for everyone – no matter what their background – has been a key motivator for Natasha Stott Despoja AM for as long as she can remember.

For the past five years Natasha has funded an undergraduate scholarship to support a financially disadvantaged female student of academic merit to study humanities full-time.

“Scholarships are a great way of paying back your institution, making a contribution, not just to say thank you for the opportunities that we’ve had but I think it’s really important to contribute to new and aspiring students – the students of the future,” says Natasha.

“I’m a great believer that alumni should maintain that connection; I’m a proud alumnus – my university is responsible for so many good things in my life.”

2012 recipient of the Stott Despoja Scholarship, Tara Vanderaa is studying a Bachelor of Teaching/Bachelor of Arts double degree and is passionate about becoming a teacher.

“The scholarship has taken a lot of the financial burden off studying my degree – I only have to work a couple of days a week instead of working full-time and I am able to put more of my own money into buying new text books,” says Tara.

“I am able to fully appreciate the courses that are offered, enjoy the University experience more and achieve my best because someone believed in me.”

While studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Adelaide, Natasha was President of the Students’ Association. In 1995, at the age of 26, she became the youngest woman to enter Federal Parliament, as a Senator for South Australia. From 2001-2002 she was Leader of the Australian Democrats. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the Australian Parliament, education and as a role model for women in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours

Watch the video to hear Natasha talk about her belief in education as the great equaliser and her desire to help others access pursue university studies, regardless of their financial background.

For further information about establishing a scholarship at the University of Adelaide, please email or phone +61 8 8313 5800.

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