An appeal to support students who are facing hardship has been launched at the University of Newcastle.
The fundraising campaign aims to raise donations for the Shaping Futures Scholarship Fund, which provides $4,000 scholarships for disadvantaged students.
Oral Health student Yannis Abraham, who is studying at the University of Newcastle’s Central Coast campus, has been helped by one of these scholarships.
Yannis and his family arrived as refugees from Afghanistan in 2009. Yannis had no formal education before coming to Australia. In just four years Yannis has learnt English, completed his Year 12 education at TAFE and is now in his second year at university. He dreams of becoming a dentist one day.
“When I was a small boy, my father, who has now passed away, used to ask me to examine him like a doctor. It was our game. I am so proud I am finally making his and my dream of entering the healthcare profession a reality.
“I want to make a contribution in Australia – a country that has changed my life. But eventually I would like to go back to Afghanistan and help my fellow countrymen.”
Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen said the Annual Appeal embodied the University’s commitment to equity.
“Almost 27 per cent of the University’s students are from a low socio-economic background, significantly higher than the sector average of 16 per cent.
“I see first-hand every day the difference an education can make to people’s lives.
“I invite community and business members to join us in supporting these students by donating to the Shaping Futures Scholarship Fund,” she said.
Donations can be made through the University of Newcastle Foundation on 02 4921 7453 or online at the University website.