Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Summer 2016 Issue
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Well-deserved support for highly engaged students

Abbey-Rose Black, Connor Holdback,Thu Nguyen
and Eiman Usmani (photo: Michael Mullan)
Augustus Short scholars are highly engaged students who have overcome personal hurdles to attend the University of Adelaide. Congratulations to our 2015 scholarship recipients, Abbey-Rose Black, Connor Holdback, Thu Nguyen and Eiman Usmani. Overcoming financial hardship, relocating from the country and studying with a disability are some of the challenges faced by our 2015 Augustus Short scholars.

Connor Holdback has had his sights set on being an engineer since high school. He chose mechatronic engineering as he thinks robotics is undergoing the most exciting developments in this generation. But he was born with cerebral palsy which makes attending university and working to support himself more of a challenge.

“The scholarship means I can support my lifestyle so I don’t have to focus on both work and study at the same time. It’s made university life much more enjoyable and sustainable.”

Two of our winners – Thu Nguyen and Eiman Usmani – applied for scholarship support to relieve the financial burden on their families. Thu is the eldest of four children and was born and raised in Australia to Vietnamese parents and is currently studying a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery.

“I applied for the scholarship because I felt that my parents had done more than their share of the work, and I really wanted to grow into my independence and become more self-supportive,” she said.

Growing up in Vietnam, Thu’s parents were not given the same opportunities but have been very supportive of her pursuit of education to realise her full potential.

Eiman was born in Pakistan and grew up in Dubai before moving to Australia three years ago with her family. She always planned to go to university but realised it would be tough financially as she is not eligible for assistance through HECS and is required to pay her university fees upfront. Her father’s struggle to find permanent employment since the move to Australia has increased the financial strain.

Eiman is studying engineering with a focus on petroleum, civil and structural. “Engineers have to make critical decisions every day that impact on people’s quality of life and my passion to study engineering comes from my desire to make a difference in the lives of others,” she said.

Abbey-Rose Black grew up in the coastal town of Port Elliot and relocated to Adelaide to begin her degree in pharmaceutical engineering. She currently travels back to Port Elliot every fortnight to work to support her studies. She applied for the scholarship to help with the costs of her relocation and study expenses, and hopes it will have a positive impact on her studies.

Abbey says that receiving the scholarship has meant a great weight has been lifted off of her shoulders. “The scholarship will help with my fees and living costs and means I can focus on my studies as much as possible.”

To find out more about supporting students through scholarships at the University of Adelaide visit or contact Natalie Gibbs on +61 8 8313 1716 or

Story by Ian Williams


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