The Lauriston Foundation

Scholarship stories

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Manasa Saripalli (2013)

The first things that come to mind when I think of my time at Lauriston are the participation aspect and the opportunity to be involved. I think it’s a real strength of the school that every girl has the opportunity to be involved in extra-curricular activities regardless of her abilities. I have an older brother who was unable to attend School because of an intellectual disability, and as a consequence I always knew I wanted to study neuroscience or neurology and be a part of the advancement and development of science in this area. Recently, I completed my first independent research project in the field of Neurosurgery, the findings of which I will be presenting at a conference in Amsterdam this year. I have completed an undergraduate degree in Bio-Medicine at Melbourne University and am now studying my Doctor of Medicine. I’m interested in pursuing a career in surgery and have continued my environmental work that began at Lauriston by joining the Doctors for the Environment organisation. I have also been working at Royal Melbourne Hospital as part of my three-year placement. I was awarded the John Flynn Scholarship for a rural placement which I completed in the coastal rural towns of Forster and Taree in New South Wales. Lauriston still plays a strong role in my life. At school I chose to study the International Baccalaureate and I continue to tutor at Lauriston in several IB subjects. I have also been involved in the School community as a volleyball and tennis coach. I believe scholarships play an important role in the School. In addition to providing financial aid to girls like myself who may not have been able to experience a Lauriston education, scholarships also encourage diversity within the School.

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Jordane Hyams (2010)

Howqua is the first thought that comes to mind when I’m asked about my time at Lauriston. What an amazing experience and opportunity for self-development. The Outdoor Program encourages you to push yourself in ways that you didn’t think were possible. It also helps you realise that you are not only responsible for yourself, but also for those around you and the greater community. I came back from my Howqua year with much more self-confidence and independence … and many new friends! After finishing my International Baccalaureate I decided to take a gap year. I spent ten months in Israel working with children. It was interesting to transition from being educated, to being taught to lead as part of my involvement with a youth movement, to being a leader then returning home. My experience overseas was very powerful and as a result I decided I wanted to work in education. I completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History, then undertook Honours in Art History in the 20th Century before completing a Masters of Teaching. I currently work as an education programs assistant at the National Gallery of Victoria, in addition to my role as a classroom teacher at Armadale Primary School. When I think of my time at Lauriston it was such a positive experience, and I feel a strong sense of belonging to the Lauriston community. I believe that scholarships create opportunity, and I really appreciate the opportunities receiving a scholarship provided me.

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Alex (2013)

When I reflect back on my time at Lauriston, there were so many things that made it enjoyable. However, the incredibly supportive environment at Lauriston has probably left the most lasting impression. I will always remember how the teaching staff would constantly go above and beyond to help you to achieve your goals. I chose to complete the International Baccalaureate in my final years at Lauriston. I can confidently say that the support from my peers during those two years was invaluable in terms of both my enjoyment of the program and the success that I achieved at the end of it. I made lifelong friendships that I know that I will always treasure. I cannot reflect back on my time at Lauriston without thinking of Howqua. Howqua was a safe and supportive environment for us to get involved in things we would likely have never done otherwise. Everyone got involved in everything, and I think this taught us the importance of being resilient and self-confident, and that we can do anything that we set out minds to. Howqua also encouraged us to ask for help when we needed it, which I think is something I have greatly benefited from since. While at Lauriston I was also very involved in sport. I had the opportunity to participate in netball, tennis, swimming, and athletics. I found that my involvement in sports really helped me to balance my studies and definitely instilled good habits as I have continued participating in sport during my time at University. After I graduated from Lauriston I completed my undergraduate at the University of Melbourne in Biomedicine and I am now in my third year of Postgraduate Medicine also at the University of Melbourne. This seemed like the natural progression for me; biology was my favourite subject at school and I received incredible support, advice and counselling in my final years to set myself on my current career path. I do believe that the experience I had at Lauriston is a testament to the ability that scholarships have to change someone’s life and open up a myriad of possibilities.

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Penny Latham (2012)

For me my time at Lauriston was about both opportunities and challenges. We were always encouraged to participate and contribute to the School community, and to pursue our interests. In Years 10-12 the music students would help to organise and perform in the Cabaret Night. This was a great opportunity for us to contribute to the school community by using skills we had developed over our time at school. The Cabaret Night was one of my favourite musical events of the year as we had a lot of agency in shaping the night. In terms of challenges, there were major bushfires in my Howqua year, which limited our ability to complete many of the outdoor activities. We had to develop many of the skills central to the Outdoor Program in a very short time frame. Truthfully, my first hike was a bit of a shock to the system, having never carried my own hike pack before. But the experience enabled me to develop physically, mentally and emotionally — and to build resilience. Even now, when I face new challenges, I remind myself that if I was able to get through those hikes, I can probably get through anything. I completed my VCE at Lauriston and my favourite subject was music. Studying music in-depth in the last three years of school really sparked my interest in pursuing it as a career. After graduating from Lauriston I completed a Bachelor of Music and Diploma in Languages at the University of Melbourne. After my undergraduate degree I became interested in teaching. I recently finished the Master of Teaching at the University of Melbourne and am now enjoying working as a qualified music teacher. I was fortunate to receive a Music Scholarship while I was at Lauriston and am so very appreciative of the experiences and opportunities it gave me. I believe that receiving this scholarship really boosted my confidence as a musician and that it has significantly shaped my career to date.

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Sharon Gu (2012)

When I reflect back on my time at Lauriston, the things I remember the most are the academic opportunities and the friends I made through my involvement with swimming and the music programs. At Lauriston I chose to complete the International Baccalaureate and although the program is challenging I always felt supported both by my teachers and by my classmates. We were a group of like-minded girls working towards the same goal, challenging ourselves to achieve our best. My involvement in swimming also challenged me to achieve my best. I loved the competitive nature of the sport and being part of the competitions. In fact, my love of swimming continues today – I am a member of a swim squad and see it as a way of balancing a busy work and study schedule. I also have fond memories of my involvement with the symphonic orchestra and band; who would have thought Tuesday night band practice would be so much fun! It was also another opportunity for making new friends and to be part of a team working together to create something much bigger than the individual. When I graduated from Lauriston my initial thought was to study medicine, but I had a change of heart and decided to study Commerce as I had really enjoyed studying Economics at school. After completing my undergraduate degree, I joined a large professional services firm as part of their graduate program. I have since qualified as a Chartered Accountant and will complete my Chartered Finance Analyst qualification in mid-2019. Receiving a scholarship really did change the outcome of my education. It gave me the opportunity to attend Lauriston and pursue my interests across academics, sport and music. Of equal importance, it enabled me to develop friendships with some wonderful girls who continue to be a key part of my life beyond school.