Fogarty Scholars Association committee announced for 2023

Congratulations to the following UWA Fogarty Scholars who have been announced as members of the Fogarty Scholars Association (FSA) committee for 2023.

President: Haseeb Riaz
Vice President: Caleb Adams
Treasurer: Chelsea Francis
Secretary: Emma Bond
Communications Director: Phoebe Dyson
General Representatives: Pooja Ramesh, Shantelle Jeyakumar

All UWA Fogarty Scholars and Alumni are members of the Fogarty Scholars Association (FSA), a student-run body which aims to strengthen the network of the group so that they can achieve greater impact.

The Fogarty Scholars Association work closely with the Fogarty Foundation to integrate their activities with the key objectives of the scholarship program. Each year they host a series of events and programs for the purpose of networking, up-skilling and fundraising for charities.

The FSA committee aims to create opportunities for scholars to form stronger connections, and to build a community where they can learn from each other.

Many thanks to the outgoing committee members for their hard work and dedication to to the Fogarty Scholars and Alumni. You can read the FSA 2022 Annual Report here.

Congratulations to the amazing group of first-year Scholars who facilitated the 2022 Fogarty Futures Leadership Conference in October.

Forty-eight impressive and motivated young West Australian’s (20% from regional areas) were invited to join the Scholars for a four-day conference at the Ern Halliday Recreation Camp, where they were inspired to explore leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Congratulations to the 2022 organising committee led by Co-Convenors Shantelle Jeyakumar and Naveen Nimalan, alongside Caleb Adams (Funding Officer), Phoebe Dyson (Marketing Officer), and Daniel Zhou (Logistics Officer).

The conference program focused around four key themes:

Guest speakers included Kate Chaney MP, Senator Jordon Steele-John, Anish Badgeri and Richard Mavros. Various workshops were run by Scholars including Luke Osborne, Joel Peiris and Lachlan McDonald, and external groups including United Nations Youth, 180 Degrees Consulting and Venture – UWA Student Innovation Centre. Other activities included the social impact fair, mentor group discussions, morning walks and campfire night.

With sponsorship from Hawaiian, Wesfarmers, Boston Consulting Group, UWA and the Fogarty Foundation, the Fogarty Futures team offered low attendance fees and travel scholarships to participants.

The Fogarty Futures Leadership Conference was initiated by the Fogarty Scholars’ Association in 2013. Found out more at https://fogartyfutures.org.

Congratulations Joel Peiris, 2022 recipient of the Jeremy Cheang Award for his online STEM education and robotics business, TECXELS, and his robotics community workshops.

Joel has always had a strong interest in the human body, robotics and artificial intelligence. He has participated in numerous robotics competitions locally, nationally and internationally, and has designed and presented STEM programs through several organisations including RoboCup Australia, FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO League and Robogals. 

To encourage younger students to engage in STEM, Joel creates material and presents workshops at the City of Swan Libraries – Ballajura ‘GEEK HUB’. In 2020, with the challenges of the pandemic developing, Joel saw the need to create online tutorials to keep students engaged in STEM activities and so he created an online STEM and robotics business. 

Joel is a UWA Fogarty Scholar studying Biomedical Science with a double major in Integrated Medical Sciences and Clinical Practice (2024) with an Assured Pathway to the Doctor of Medicine. He said that receiving the Jeremy Cheang Award would allow him to purchase more equipment and robotics kits necessary to mobilise this free community program.

“I could travel across Western Australia delivering my tutorials and presentations in areas where there is interest in STEM and robotics,” Joel said. 

“This STEM community education program could also mentor and train teachers to teach robotics and influence their curriculum in the classrooms,” he said.

The children who benefit from Joel’s workshops range from the ages of 7-18 years and include students from Hillarys, Cottesloe, Ellenbrook, Morley, Tuart Hill, Subiaco, South Perth, Riverton, Nollamara, Gooseberrry Hill, Guildford and Rockingham. 

Joel said that in addition to developing and building TECXELS, he intends to explore areas of nanotechnology and medical engineering as he progresses through his medical studies at UWA. 

“My ambition looking ahead is to combine these areas through research and development in a specific area and work towards a specialisation as a medical doctor. This would mean combining medical engineering, artificial intelligence, robotics and programming embedded in my specialisation as a medical doctor or surgeon.”

The Jeremy Cheang Award is an annual award presented to a UWA Fogarty Scholar to acknowledge their contribution to their chosen profession, the University and/or the wider community. The award in presented in memory of Jeremy Cheang, a former UWA Fogarty Scholar.

The UWA Fogarty Scholars and Alumni enjoyed an evening of canapés at the UWA Club recently, as they celebrated another inspiring year of learning, leadership and collective accomplishment.

InspirED is the final event of the year for the Leadership and Innovation program where UWA executive and staff, past speakers and friends of the Scholarship Program are invited to celebrate the achievements of Scholars.

David Sadler, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education), spoke about the significance of the scholarship program and congratulated Scholars and Alumni for their commitment to excellence and achievement. 

Emma Bond shared an overview of the Fogarty Scholars’ Association events and congratulated the Futures team for another hugely successful Futures Conference. 

David Scaife MLA shared his story, from country public school boy to UWA Fogarty Scholar. He spoke about how the scholarship has supported his professional life and encouraged Scholars to take every opportunity presented to them.

Graduating Scholars, Hannah Bowden, Ben Caulfield, Adehlia Ebert and Theodore Kenworthy-Groen, spoke about their experiences at UWA and their future pursuits. 

Thank you to everyone who attended this InspirED event. It was a wonderful opportunity to hear from UWA Fogarty Scholars and Alumni who are working towards and/or acting as leaders in our community and beyond.  

Jane Pankhurst is a postgraduate Fogarty Scholar completing a Doctor of Medicine. Jane is also an esteemed kayaker and has recently been selected for the 2022 Australian Canoe Marathon Team. Jane will be competing at the World Championships in the Open Woman’s K2 Standard Course event in Portugal later this year.

You have been selected for the 2022 Australian Canoe Marathon Team; how long have you been working towards this?

I started kayaking competitively in the marathon discipline, comparatively late in life, at the start of 2019. The Canoe Marathon National Championships were held in WA that year, and after participating in that event, immersing myself within a competitive environment and being surrounded by some incredible paddlers, I was inspired to work towards making the Australian Canoe Marathon Team. 

Unfortunately, due to COVID, our national championships were cancelled in 2020 and 2021, so Australia was unable to send teams to the World Championships. 2022 was the first year the canoe marathon community has competed at a national level, so this goal has been 3 years in the making! 

What does a typical training week look like for you?

Currently, a typical training week includes seven on-water paddle sessions, three strength sessions and two cross-training sessions, Monday through to Saturday. Despite the dark and the cold, winter mornings and afternoons are some of the most beautiful times to paddle, the sunrises and sunsets are amazing! 

How do you juggle training/studying/working?

Most of the time not very well haha! I rely heavily on my diary. If I plan ahead, I find it much easier to balance my commitments throughout the week. It is easy to let the juggle overwhelm you, and I think like many, I sometimes feel guilty if I don’t feel like I’m filling my time with something ‘productive’. So, I have learnt the importance of making time to de-load. Which is equally as important as the time spent working towards career, sport or study related goals. For me, this involves spending time with my family, taking my dog for a walk in the bush, and lots of sleep! 

What do you love about paddling?

There is so much I love about paddling! It is such a technical sport and there are many factors at play when working to refine and develop our craft. I love that development in this sport is a lifelong journey and the pursuit of my best is a benchmark that constantly moves. I love that I will never stop learning. 

The paddling community in Australia is incredible. Within the daily training environment, we get the opportunity to interact with world renowned athletes and coaches. All of whom, are committed to giving back to the wider sporting community. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from these people. It is impossible not to be inspired! 

You must be incredibly disciplined. How do you think your sporting achievements and commitment to training have assisted you with your studies and career goals? 

I find that sport is as much a mental game as it is physical. Kayaking has taught me so much about how my mind works, in terms of how to deal with the self-critical voice that I’m sure many of us are all too familiar with. The understanding of how to manage unhelpful thought patterns, is a skill that I have transferred into other areas of my life. 

Kayaking has taught me to embrace the present, find flow, and never let fear of failure get in the way of opportunity. 

 Alexander van Hoek wants to see more children with a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). For this reason, Alex has developed Systematic, a not-for-profit initiative to help children foster an interest in STEM topics and skills, during their young and formative years.  

“The main goal of Systematic is to break the stereotype that only ‘smart’ children can be involved in STEM. Children should be encouraged to engage with STEM activities, regardless of their educational, geographical, cultural or socioeconomic background,” Alex explained. 

Alex is a UWA Fogarty Scholar studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Genetics. He has an avid interest in STEM subjects, innovations and careers and wants to share this passion with others. 

“My love of STEM was inevitable with two engineers for parents, one electrical and one chemical. As a child they made sure I always saw the fun in science, how amazing and cool it could be,” Alex explained. 

“I grew up understanding that STEM is part of our lives, it is all around us, even in areas we wouldn’t expect, and it helps us discover and understand the world around us,” Alex said. 

Systematic is a one-stop-shop for fun and engaging STEM activities. The Systematic kit contains various toys and experiments for teachers and parents to use to inspire curiosity, engagement in learning and conversations around science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Alex hopes that by providing these tools and opportunities, educators can help to build confidence in a child’s ability to understand and master STEM concepts now and into the future.  

“STEM can and will have a significant impact upon the lives and careers of all children, so why not encourage them to enjoy it from a young age, through structured play and exploratory experiences,” Alex said. 

Alex was the 2021 recipient of the Fogarty Foundation’s Jeremy Cheang Award. This annual award is presented to a UWA Fogarty Scholar to acknowledge their contribution to their chosen profession, the University and/or the wider community. Alex received the award for his creation of Systematic and has been using the funding to progress the Systematic initiative to the ‘testing’ phase, due to commence in 2022. 

“This phase is important to ensure that the kit contains toys and experiments which are practical for teachers and parents to deliver, while also being stimulating and inspiring for the children,” Alex said.  

Alex is currently working with Venture, the Student Innovation Centre supported by the UWA Student Guild. Venture provides access to expert advice, support, and guidance, to help students navigate the innovation journey and improve innovative outcomes. Guild Venture, in partnership with the UWA Grand Challenges, also offer ‘Making a Difference’ Social Innovation and Enterprise grants to the value of $5000. Alex will present Systematic at the UWA Showcase event later in the year.  

With the Foundation’s seed funding and Venture’s network, Alex is gaining support from other students and learning from entrepreneurs, including the entrepreneur in residence Josh Van Ross. 

Tell us something about your upbringing

Cultural pride and diversity have always been core principles of my upbringing. As a biracial woman, my family always taught me to embrace my culture, appreciate others and live a life of service. My most distinct memories from my upbringing are the Christmas family gatherings. For this celebration, everyone would bring a dish, often a traditional dish, that we would share whilst a multitude of many different genres of music played in the background and our elders would tell stories about their lives before their journeys moving to Australia. 

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

For as long as I can remember, my goal in life has been to positively impact the world, regardless of the career I chose. When I was younger, I wanted to be a lawyer so that I could fight for peoples’ rights and freedoms. As I got older, I became drawn to a career in healthcare, due to the unique position that healthcare workers are in. I see healthcare as a career whereby I could directly improve a person’s life due to my knowledge, being in the fortunate position to help others when they are unequipped to do so.

What did you learn about yourself in high school?

In high school, I learned the true extent of my mental toughness and determination. Throughout every stage of my high school career, I found my competitive nature drove me to achieve goals that often seemed out of reach. However, it was not until my final two years of high school that I learned the importance of self-care and cost-benefit decision-making. As I strived to be accepted into a medical course, I knew the discipline and determination that would be required. Subsequently, through trial and error, I learnt how to prioritise my time for the people and activities that brought me joy whilst never losing sight of my goals; culminating in success both in school and engagement with my community. 

Why did you apply to be a UWA Fogarty Scholar?

I applied to be a UWA Fogarty Scholar because my values aligned with the core ethos of the Fogarty Foundation and as such, I wanted to become a part of the Fogarty community. Furthermore, beyond relieving financial constraints, being a UWA Fogarty Scholar allows me to continue engaging in leadership and volunteering roles (both within UWA and the wider community), whilst opening the door to new and exciting opportunities. 

What are you studying and what do you like about the course so far?

I am currently studying Integrated Medical Sciences via the Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) with an assured pathway to the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). Although I haven’t completed any ‘dental’ units yet, I have loved learning about the anatomy of the human body and how our various systems within the body work together to form a functioning human.

Tell us something you love about UWA.

The vibrancy of the UWA community is something that I love. On the few days that I attend campus, I often engage in various activities and events organised by different clubs and Guild Organisations. I appreciate the opportunity to meet new people and love the diversity of students that attend UWA. 

Have you enjoyed any Scholars events, if so, which event and why?

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the events organised thus far, especially the Scholars Breakfast as I was able to network with many current Scholars and Alumni.

What do you look forward to in Semester 2?

As the majority of my Semester 1 units were online, I am looking forward to commencing Semester 2 face-to-face and meeting more people. I am also looking forward to engaging in labs and workshops, for the medical science units, that will allow me to better my laboratory skills. Outside of class, I am excited to coordinate social events as a member of the Women’s Guild and facilitate the Fogarty Futures Leadership Conference.

David Scaife MLA will commence postgraduate studies at the Australian National University (ANU) in Semester 2, 2022. David will be the first UWA Fogarty Scholar to enjoy this esteemed partnership between the Fogarty Foundation, the Australian National University and the University of Western Australia. 

share a highlight of your time as a UWA Fogarty Scholar.

The leadership program run by the Fogarty Foundation was a highlight of every year. I particularly remember attending a presentation by Andrew Forrest in about 2006 or 2007 where he spoke about his vision for FMG and the iron ore industry in WA. Looking back, I didn’t realise the significance of what I was listening to at the time!

Why have you applied for a scholarship at ANU when your career is already progressing so well?

As a newly elected Member of Parliament, I have an obligation to my constituents and to the WA public more generally to do my absolute best in this role. I see further studies as one way to improve my knowledge and skills, so that I can be an effective elected representative.

What will you be studying and how will this impact your career and future?

I’ll be studying the Master of Public Policy (MPP). Navigating life as a Member of Parliament over the last year has been challenging. There are many different stakeholders with established ways of doing things, from local constituents to public servants to lobbyists. I expect the MPP will give me greater insight into how the public service works and how to influence policy outcomes in a way that is consistent with the evidence and my values. We have an opportunity in a post-COVID world to build an Australia that is more ambitious, equal, and inclusive, and I hope to be a part of that.

Do you think there is a connection between education and positive leadership? If so, please explain.

Yes, undoubtedly. I said in my first speech to Parliament that I owe my achievements to education, and particularly public education. I have had teachers and mentors both at Australind Senior High School and the University of Western Australia who saw more in me, than I did. That encouragement has led to my leadership position now. I also think that curiosity and a commitment to self-improvement, which have a natural relationship with education, are qualities of positive leadership.

How do you think our Fogarty Scholars and Alumni can have an impact on their communities, Australia and the world?

You only have to look at the work being done by current Scholars and Alumni to see the range of ways that you can have an impact on the world. We have Alumni like Naomi Altman who is a literal rocket scientist working on delivering medical supplies by drone in Ghana, and Alumni like me who are focused on things closer to home. The important part is to pursue what you’re passionate about and good at. If you do that and keep in mind the obligation that we all have to improve our communities (whether global or local), you can’t really go wrong.

“Receiving the scholarship has been a great privilege and I’m looking forward to starting in semester 2.”

David Scaife MLA

Each year, two UWA Fogarty Scholars will receive scholarships to study at ANU. These scholarships will strengthen relations with our national university, broadening opportunities for Scholars in their careers and their ability to create the next generation of growth.

The UWA Fogarty Scholars joined Kate Chaney, independent candidate for the seat of Curtin, for an informal conversation on Wednesday. Kate said she was eager to speak with young people about the issues they are interested in. 

Kate opened by explaining her background and what brought her to stand for a seat in Federal Parliament. She noted that a driving factor was her involvement on the board of Next 25, which is working to ensure that Australia maximises and shares its success across current and future generations, and her desire to play a more proactive part in addressing complex issues facing Australian society. 

Kate believes her diverse career background in management consulting, law and strategy, as well as her senior corporate and not-for-profit roles, will enable her to contribute on several complex matters. She also acknowledged that there will matters she won’t know about. In talking about her decision to take the plunge to stand for Parliament, Kate said that she realised, “you only have one wild and precious life, so just go for it.”

Kate shared her four areas of focus with the Scholars, which were often touched on during the conversation with the group. These include:

The Scholars raised a wide range of topics important to them, spanning the implementation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and how to achieve climate change through the creation of economic opportunities, to the provision of greater funding for sports beyond those with a high profile, the structural re-adjustment of industries, addressing and reducing the incidence of sexual harassment and gender inequality, to food and water security and homelessness.

How to find candidates aligned with Scholars’ individual values was also explored, and it was suggested that sites such as Vote Compass could be helpful in this regard. Kate also mentioned the site, They Vote for You which allows one to see how your electorate’s representative – or any member of Parliament – voted on various matters. Kate explained that only 0.4% of the population is a member of a political party and 50% of members of Parliament have only ever worked in politics.

The role of independents in Parliament was also explored, and Kate was asked what she hoped might result in 15 years. Three options she suggested were:

  1. Independents could cause the major parties to re-think their approach to various policies and their electorate.
  2. There could be a critical mass of independents, allowing them to work in different coalitions on various topics of interest. She noted whilst this could be logistically ‘messier’ than the two-party system, it could allow the larger, more complex issues to be dealt with more effectively (noting most of the matters before Federal Parliament are complex issues by their very nature); or
  3. The emergence of new parties, providing a viable alternative to the current ‘red’ vs ‘blue’ team, two party model.

The closing discussion centred on how young people could become more involved, with Kate providing several pointers. Whilst not suggesting that young people head straight for parliament, she stressed that, at a minimum, everyone should be thoughtful about their vote, because every vote counts.

Many thanks to Kate for addressing the group, and for Georgie Carey, Fogarty Scholar (2014) and now Deputy Mayor of the Mosman Park Town Council for being facilitator.

Ten of the state’s highest achieving students have accepted UWA Fogarty Foundation Scholarships, including Lawrence Nheu who was also awarded the UWA Fogarty Beazley Medallist Scholarship. Today, we had the pleasure of welcoming them to the UWA Fogarty Scholars family as they enjoyed breakfast at St Catherine’s College. 

UWA Fogarty Foundation Scholarships offer the State’s brightest and most committed students a full scholarship for the entirety of their undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. Scholars are selected based on their academic excellence and outstanding achievements in leadership, community involvement, enterprise, the arts and/or sport. 

Winners of the 2022 UWA Fogarty Foundation Scholarships include Lawrence Nheu, Beazley Medallist (Perth Modern), Ben Scott (Scotch College), Daniel Zhou (Christ Church Grammar School), Peter Bruce (Wesley College), Joel Peiris (Perth Modern), Shantelle Jeyakumar (Woodvale Secondary College), Naveen Nimalan (Aquinas College), Phoebe Dyson (Methodist Ladies’ College), Caleb Adams (Perth Modern) and Josh Snow (Busselton Senior High School). 

Phoebe Dyson said she applied for the UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program because she saw it as an invaluable way to connect with inspiring, like-minded individuals while making the most of opportunities to grow and flourish as a leader. 

“I would love to make a difference in this world, and I see the UWA Fogarty Scholarship Program as a tangible way for me to instigate purposeful change,” Phoebe explained. 

“I am particularly looking forward to meeting other students in the Fogarty Scholars community and immersing myself in the range of mentoring and leadership opportunities that are provided,” commented Ben Scott, 2022 UWA Fogarty Scholar. 

UWA Fogarty Foundation Scholars are provided with $10,000 per annum to assist in university tuition, accommodation and general living expenses. They participate in a tailored leadership and enterprise program, academic mentoring, leadership opportunities, support for initiatives and they become valued members of the Scholars and Alumni network. 

 “By empowering and enriching our high performing students, we are encouraging them to shine, and use their vision and direction to enable positive change in society,” explained Caitlyn Fogarty-Embley, Executive Director of the Fogarty Foundation. 

“We need innovative and inspiring leaders and businesses in WA, which is why the UWA Fogarty Foundation Scholarships continue to be a key element of the Foundation’s work,” she said. 

“We want our brightest students to call Western Australia home, where they can enjoy a world-class education and be inspired to lead, innovate, support and build the West Australian economy.” 

Through the Leadership and Enterprise Program, the Foundation hopes to empower young people to be entrepreneurial creators. Many Scholars have started enterprises and not-for-profit organisations which the Foundation continues to support. 

“The Scholars Enterprise Investment Program supports Scholars as they build their businesses, while enhancing WA-wide support for the next generation of enterprises, growing the number of jobs and diversity of businesses across WA and Australia,” Mrs Fogarty-Embley said. 

Since 2004, the scholarships have educated and supported 176 outstanding young people who are now contributing to their communities, our state and our nation. The UWA Fogarty Foundation Scholarship Program is one of Australia’s premier scholarship programs. You can read about some of the exceptional Scholars at fogartyfoundation.org.au.