A scholarship like no other

In 2013, Graham and Louise Tuckwell gave the largest ever donation to an Australian university when they started the $50 million Tuckwell Scholarship Program to find Australia's future leaders. As part of the first cohort, LUCY KIRK tells what it is like to be a Tuckwell Scholar.

Being part of the first year of the Tuckwell Scholarship has been everything I expected it to be and much more.

This year has brought many challenges, surprises and positive outcomes.

During orientation week, the 25 Tuckwell Scholars found that we are all doing different degrees and, despite being nervous and somewhat apprehensive, we were all very excited about the new adventure.

I did not believe it when I got the phone call from Graham [Tuckwell] offering me a place on this Scholarship.

I did not believe it until I had actually got the scholarship until I got the official email and there was a press release later that week. I was excited and relieved that for the next five years, I knew what I was doing.

The first few days at ANU were like a dream. I could not - and still cannot- comprehend the enormity of the opportunity that had been given to me and the impact that it will have on the rest of my life.  

I was excited to have the opportunity to study at ANU; I was excited to have the opportunity to live on campus and experience college life and I was excited to be a part of the Tuckwell Scholarship, to make the most of the program and make friends with all the other Scholars.

We have discussed what we believed the true purpose and aim of the Tuckwell vision to be. In response to everyone's input we developed a Tuckwell Scholars' Code and seek to implement its values.

It essentially comes down to this: we want to work to benefit the wider community.

What makes this Scholarship different is that we have the benefit of the Fellows and Scholars House.

The Tuckwell Fellows - Dr Mary Kilcline Cody, Professor Simon Rice and Professor Susan Howitt - are our mentors and they lead the activities at Scholars House.

Constantly interacting with the other Scholars means that we can feed ideas off each other, discuss difficult questions and gain a deeper understanding of problems.

This has allowed me to widen my view of the world and constantly challenge what I believe.