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Lumen Winter 2016 Issue
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Augustus Short Scholarships: helping our brightest students pursue their passions

Kylie Do (left) and Maithili Mishra (right)

Kylie Do and Maithili Mishra
The gift of higher education through a scholarship, award or grant can change the lives of outstanding students and inspire them to make a difference in the world. It’s a gift that University of Adelaide pioneer Dr Augustus Short believed should be accessible to all students of high academic merit, regardless of birth or wealth.

Dr Short was appointed during the University’s founding year in 1874 and has been remembered through scholarships offered in his name and funded through philanthropic support. They are awarded to Year 12 students of high academic merit from rural and remote areas, including those facing financial hardship or disability which may impede their academic pursuits.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors, 11 Augustus Short Scholarships have been awarded in 2016. Lumen spoke to three of them: Maithili Mishra, Kenneth Jacks and Kylie Do. Double scholarship winner Maithili Mishra is in her first year of a double degree in Law and Health Sciences after winning two scholarships.

In addition to an Augustus Short Scholarship she was also awarded a Dunstan Foundation Len King Scholarship which is offered to worthy candidates wanting to pursue a career in law.

“I have an interest in social justice issues and human rights, and at the same time I’ve always loved biology at school and lots of other sciences,” says Maithili. “That’s why I chose to study both law and health sciences, it was the perfect way to intertwine the two.”

Maithili lives with her mother and sister and, as a family on a single income, says the scholarships will be a big help financially. Outside of study Maithili enjoys volunteering and believes we all have a responsibility to help others if we are able.

“It is unfortunate that we cannot all enjoy basic rights such as food, water and good health,” she says.

In addition to volunteering, Maithili has two casual jobs: tutoring students and working in an office.

“I’m still going to keep those jobs, but I can now prioritise my study because I have the financial support I need,” she says.

Kenneth Jacks

Kenneth Jacks with his family
Ambition in astrophysics Kenneth Jacks’ passion for science and a strong work ethic saw him excel in his studies at Salisbury East High School. In addition to achieving an ATAR of 98.25, he was dux of the school in specialist mathematics, physics and maths studies and also won its science, technology, engineering and mathematics award.

His academic achievements were recognised with both an Augustus Short Scholarship and also a University Principal’s Scholarship, awarded for high academic achievement and contribution to the school and community.

“With two other brothers to support, winning these scholarships means a very welcome reduced financial burden on my parents,” he says.

“Education is expensive so this takes the pressure off me needing to work at the expense of my studies.”

Kenneth is in the first year of a Bachelor of Science (Advanced), majoring in physics. He plans to pursue his interest in astronomy and one day hopes to be an astrophysicist. Putting in that extra effort Kylie Do has a love of science which she wants to pass on to others – which is why she chose to complete a double Bachelor of Teaching and Science degree.

It was Kylie’s parents who encouraged her to study hard and pursue a career she will really enjoy, not just a job that pays the bills. She excelled at science in her final year at Mary MacKillop College where she was dux in chemistry, biology and physics and overall dux of the school. She also won a school leadership award. The Augustus Short Scholarship will help ease the financial pressure so that Kylie can concentrate on her studies.

“Financially, it’s a huge relief. My dad told me that he didn’t have anything to give me but my education, and that’s helped me to push hard throughout my school years to really achieve what I wanted.”

To find out more about supporting students through scholarships at the University of Adelaide visit or contact External Relations on +61 8 8313 5800 or email

Story by Kelly Brown


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