Canberra, 10 May 2007: Australian Catholic University (ACU) and the Capital Region Community Foundation GreaterGood have joined forces to improve educational opportunities for rural and regional students, through a new scholarship fund.
The Francis Carroll Scholarship, named after the recently retired Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, will be presented to three first year students at ACU’s Canberra Campus (Signadou) for the first time tomorrow.
Beneficiaries chosen by the scholarship selection committee will include Bachelor of Theology/Social Work student Jennifer Drum from Young, who will receive the major scholarship of $2,500, and Bachelor of Education student Hayley Oldfield from Yass and Bachelor of Education student Clare Walker from Grenfell, both of whom will receive $750.
Ms Drum said hard times on the land were making it more difficult for students from rural and regional backgrounds to study at university.
“The prolonged drought has really affected my parents’ ability to support me as a full-time student, so this money will ease their financial burden and allow me greater independence in my first year of university,” she said.
According to Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan AO, the scholarship fund was set up not only to mark the retirement of Archbishop Carroll, but also to continue his tradition of active community engagement to meet definite need.
“Providing greater educational opportunities for students from rural and regional areas was always a strong priority for former Archbishop Carroll, so it is fitting that this new scholarship program bears his name,” Professor Sheehan said.
“The scholarship will help students to meet some of the costs associated with their first year of study at ACU’s Canberra Campus," Canberra Campus Rector Professor Peter Camilleri added.
“In 2006, a public appeal was launched throughout the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and the Diocese of Wagga Wagga, to raise funds for an educational scholarship celebrating the contribution of Archbishop Francis Carroll to the region,” Dr Ray Storrier, who chaired the Appeal, said.
The Scholarship Fund was created within GreaterGood, the Capital Region Community Foundation, a public charitable trust established in 2003 to give the people of the Australian Capital Territory a permanent fund to support projects, activities and charities that address the region's most challenging social issues.
“To date, more than $60,000 has been pledged to the fund, which demonstrates the strong commitment of local benefactors to the cause of education.”
Australian Catholic University (ACU) – established as Australia’s only Catholic, national, publicly funded university – is open to all. The University empowers its students and staff with a strong sense of social responsibility and concern for the moral and ethical dimensions of their study and their professional and personal lives.