Education and Arts

Helping Hannah to make a difference in young people’s lives

Studying education at university was continuing a family tradition for Hannah Bruty, as three of her seven siblings are qualified teachers. Winning a scholarship to study at Australian Catholic University has helped make that goal come alive.

Hannah lives on a farm near Snake Valley, 40 minutes from Ballarat, and completed her VCE at Beaufort Secondary College. To pursue her dream of becoming a primary school teacher Hannah planned to study primary education at ACU and to establish her career teaching disadvantaged youth within Australia and overseas.

Now in her second year studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree at ACU’s Ballarat Campus, Hannah is enjoying her journey and looking forward to achieving her goals.

“Primary teaching is something I’ve always wanted to do; I want to be able to make a difference in children’s lives by helping in their development so they can contribute positively to society,” Hannah said.

ACU has a long-held reputation as a leading provider of quality and innovative teacher education. Students particularly enjoy the professional experience that is at the heart of all ACU’s teacher education courses.

“I completed my first placement at Lumen Christi Primary School last semester. This experience in the classroom has provided me with invaluable knowledge that will help me to become a more skilled and well-prepared teacher,” she said.

Being from a rural area, she loves the friendly environment at ACU’s Ballarat campus.

“I love ACU’s community culture, where everyone feels included and being a small campus developing connections and friendships is much easier,” she said. “The lecturers are not just there to teach you, they become your support systems that you can access at any time. I have enjoyed the wide range of opportunities ACU offer, including scholarships, volunteer work and student associations – it has something to meet everyone’s needs.”

Hannah was one of five recipients of the George Alexander Foundation Scholarship in 2015. Each scholarship is valued at $15,000, paid as one instalment per semester for the duration of the course.

Available to full-time, first-year undergraduate students at the Ballarat Campus, the scholarship is for students from a rural or regional location who have obtained a minimum ATAR of 75.

The George Alexander Foundation established this scholarship at ACU in 2007. The Foundation was  founded by the late industrialist and philanthropist George Alexander AM, for the purpose of assisting outstanding rural students especially those demonstrating exceptional leadership potential and community participation.

Hannah was an ideal candidate for the scholarship. She is actively involved in a number of community groups and is passionate about helping others. She is a volunteer for the CFA at the Lake Goldsmith Fire Brigade, as well as a member of the Linton Conference St Vincent de Paul Society, ACU Young Vinnies Society and St Peter’s Catholic Parish of Linton.

“I feel extremely happy about being awarded the scholarship. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to apply for the scholarship and very honoured to receive it.”

The scholarship funds have assisted Hannah to pay for student fees, books, study resources as well as travelling costs to attend university each day. “It has helped to significantly reduce the pressure and stress that can be difficult when you need to focus on your studies,” she said.

“Ultimately, this financial support will help me achieve my goal of becoming a primary school teacher.”

Applications for the George Alexander Foundation scholarship are open until Monday 1 February so there is still time for students to apply after offers are released by VTAC.  To apply visit