Swinburne Online student Rachel McGill has received the Kath Watson Scholarship for Women offered through Swinburne University of Technology. Rachel, a mother of two studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary) online, says the scholarship has given her a renewed sense of pride.
“While the financial help is beneficial, winning the scholarship also cements my confidence in what I am trying to achieve.
“I was able to take my 8 year-old daughter with me to the presentation, watching her face as she took in all that was going on around her gave me pride in myself. The scholarship not only helps me, it helps my children and one day I hope it helps the students I will teach.”
The Kath Watson Foundation was established to support female students from disadvantaged backgrounds to continue tertiary education and to achieve their full academic potential, by reducing the need to work outside of study.
Rachel says the scholarship takes away some of the financial stress she was feeling working part time, supporting her family and studying online.
“Studying online was my only real option. I needed to work to support my family and my children are my priority in life. Studying online whilst difficult and challenging at times, has allowed me to improve my skills to one day becoming a teacher.
“More importantly it has enabled me to refocus on achieving my goals. I have a renewed confidence in myself to keep going and do the best I can.”
After a career in computer design, Rachel began to move back to her first passion and threw herself into volunteer work with children. She completed a Certificate III in Children's Services a few years back and decided to build on that and challenge herself by studying a degree.
“Taking on a Bachelor of Education (Primary) was something I had to think long and hard about as it is a heavy load and required commitment over many years, but I realised it was something I was always wanted to do.
“I am particularly focused around children with learning difficulties, looking at how the brain works, how can we as educators can prevent children from slipping through the cracks,” Rachel says.
“All children deserve an education that is rich, exciting and drives them to want to learn more. I am interested in programs that assist children who for whatever reason have become disengaged and more work needs to done to support those children to have a love of learning.”
Find out more about the range of services and benefits available to all Swinburne students here.