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Indigenous Scholarship Program Recipient Flourishes

Hugo James

Agile AI Digital Executive at Optus
In 2016, GradAustralia launched the GenerationOne Indigenous Scholarship Program. We've met up with a past recipient, Layneisha Sgro to get an update on her progress and time at university so far.

Layneisha Sgro, a 19 year old Indigenous student originally from Broome, WA received the 2016 GenerationOne Indigenous Scholarship. The scholarship has allowed Layneisha to move to Melbourne to pursue her studies in a Bachelor of Commerce, while also focusing on eventually becoming a practicing lawyer.

The 2016 GradAustralia Indigenous Scholarship Program, in partnership with GenerationOne aims to foster the next generation of Indigenous leaders by supporting students as they embark on their pathway through tertiary education. The scholarship, funded through the generous support of graduate employers in the public and private sector, provides Indigenous students with financial assistance for residential college accommodation costs, including a stipend for expenses associated with studying and living away from home and family.

Layneisha’s application made it to the final stages of the scholarship process, where a panel of judges selected Layneisha due to her commitment to excellence and interest in community development, displaying wisdom beyond her years and the ability to inspire other Indigenous students. On receiving the scholarship, Layneisha commented;

“I was amazed to have been awarded the scholarship as I knew that a lot of people applied and wasn’t confident I had done enough to be awarded… it has enabled me to be financially independent from my parents who can't afford to support me through University, allowing me to further my studies in University.”

Passion For Leadership Throughout Her Education

After moving to Perth to complete her secondary education at the Presbyterian Ladies College on an Indigenous scholarship, Layneisha demonstrated her commitment to leadership and indigenous community development, taking part in National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy, being a 2014 Indigenous representative on the National Youth Week and a National Youth Awards Selection Panel Member.

This passion and ambition has only continued as she pursues her studies into university, and has seen her take on a variety of leadership roles within the first year of her tertiary education.

University Life

Since arriving at Queen’s College, Melbourne University, Layneisha has had the opportunity to take on further leadership roles. In her first semester of college, Layneisha recounts;

“In my first few weeks, I was selected to be a part of my college’s ball committee… which was an absolute success and raised a lot of money for charity. I’ve also gotten involved with the Seed network, an Indigenous youth-run organisation that aims to tackle climate change.”

Looking Towards The Future

After beginning a Bachelor of Arts at the beginning of this year, Layneisha transferred into a Bachelor of Commerce in the beginning of this semester, and now plans to complete her degree in this area, majoring in management and business law. On completion of her studies, Layneisha hopes to become a practicing lawyer, specialising in Indigenous rights and corporate law, before eventually furthering her involvement in the community through a role in politics.

Layneisha continues to achieve great success at university, and when asked what the Indigenous Scholarship Program has provided for her thus far, Layneisha said;

“The scholarship is helping provide support and motivation – especially by showing that others are willing to invest in my education and dreams… it motivates me to study and make the most of my university experience.”