AusNet today announced a 10-year, $280,000 scholarship agreement with Federation University Australia to support the next generation of the renewable energy workforce.
AusNet Chief Executive Officer David Smales said the scholarships, which include two specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and one for a female STEM student, will provide financial support to those who want to play their part in Australia’s clean energy transition.
“We’re committed to inclusion and diversity at AusNet, and these scholarships are a way for us demonstrate that,” said Mr Smales.
A particular focus for AusNet is to build early career pathways for First Nations peoples and for women into the energy sector.
“Women represent 32 per cent of our workforce and through these scholarships we hope to be able to contribute to the pipeline of skilled workers supporting the future renewable energy workforce, as well as make real progress on improving all forms of equality and inclusion,” he added.
Federation University provides tertiary education in some of the regional Victorian locations where AusNet operates.
Federation University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global and Engagement, Ms Carolyn Chong, thanked AusNet for its commitment to supporting higher education in regional Victoria.
“Many students studying at Federation University are the first in their families to go to university and a scholarship can often mean the difference between the student pursuing higher education or missing out on the opportunity,” she said.
“These scholarships will support the students who need it most, and we’re incredibly grateful for AusNet’s support.”
“The scholarships can potentially be life-changing for students, creating opportunities that may have otherwise been unavailable,” Ms Chong said.
The agreement will see AusNet fund four scholarships per year from 2024.
Eligible students will be able to apply for the following scholarships:
- AusNet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Ballarat Scholarship - available for a higher education domestic Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander undergraduate (including honours) or postgraduate student studying at the Mt Helen (Ballarat) campus.
- AusNet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Gippsland Scholarship - available for a higher education domestic Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander undergraduate (including honours) or postgraduate student studying at the Gippsland campus.
- AusNet Financial Hardship Scholarship - available for a student from a disadvantaged or low socioeconomic background studying business, engineering or environmental courses at the Gippsland or Mt Helen campus.
- AusNet Women in STEM Scholarship - available for a female student at either the Gippsland or Mt Helen campus undertaking studies in environmental science, community energy or engineering.
Further information on how to apply will be available via www.federation.edu.au/connect/foundation/scholarships.