21 September, 2011
Story by: Vivian Yue
Photos by: Anna Zhu
Hosted under the iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House, harbour views, modern opera and a delectable menu were highlights of the annual the UTS:Law Equity Scholarship program fundraising event. The evening focused on creating long term solutions to assist academically gifted but financially disadvantaged youth.
Each year UTS:Law awards a $20,000 Equity Scholarship to one outstanding full-time law student in need of financial assistance for university studies. In addition to financial need, selection is based on academic achievement and personal motivation.
Alison Whittaker, the winner of the inaugural 2011 UTS:Law Equity Scholarship gave an inspiring address expressing her gratitude for the scholarship and its opportunities. Whittaker hopes other talented but disadvantaged students will also receive the same support she has been given.
“I am living proof of the effectiveness of generous contributions for the sake of equity and diversity. I received this year’s UTS:Law Equity Scholarship and without it, and the generosity of those who make it possible, I would not be studying at a tertiary level at all,” she said.
“This scholarship has allowed me to transcend disadvantages which would have made studying tremendously difficult. Disadvantages associated with my regional background, my socio-economic status, my sexual identity, disability, my own family’s educational disadvantage.”
From transport and accommodation costs to buying instant coffee and toiletries, Whittaker says the scholarship has made a big difference in her life. She looks forward to the opportunities it will provide for what remains of her degree, and well beyond.
“Without this scholarship, even if I had found my way into university life and into the city, I would have been lucky to pass this semester. This project has achieved what equitable projects aspire to do- empowering people to empower themselves.”
UTS:Law began fundraising for a financial hardship scholarship when it became apparent there were an increasing number of perfectly able students experiencing financial hardship. The generosity of last year’s donors has enabled the Faculty to do more than create an equity scholarship.
“Last year we raised enough money for Alison’s scholarship of four years,” said Dean of the UTS Faculty of Law, Professor Jill McKeough. “This year we’re pleased to announce a scholarship endowment fund! The fund will allow us to afford a scholarship in perpetuity and provide assistance to very deserving but financially disadvantaged young people. Everything raised from the dinner will go towards the fund. Not only are you supporting students from today but also for years to come.”
Professor McKeough also extended her appreciation to supporters who made generous donations but could not attend the evening.
If you would like to dontate to the UTS:Law Equity Scholarship fund please visit our online donation form.