A lasting legacy of education with the Bogong Scholarship

The Bogong Scholarship is an award made possible by a generous anonymous donor whose legacy continues to help support students from regional Victoria study engineering at VU.

The scholarship is offered annually to a second-year engineering student who completed VCE in a rural high school. It is offered to a student with outstanding academic results in their first year of engineering.

Thomas' story

Thomas, who is studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), is one of the current recipients of the scholarship. He went to school in Katandra, about 20 minutes outside of Shepparton, and didn’t always dream of going to university.

“When I left high school, I wasn't really sure what I was going to do. I stumbled across the advanced diploma at first, and I just went for that, to see if I could get in. It was really a stepping stone for me, because I wasn't settled on going to university.”

The stars seemed to align and he found himself in the right place at the right time. He’d moved to the western suburbs of Melbourne and his housemate was going to university in Geelong. Thomas enrolled in a Diploma of Engineering Technology and once he completed this, he thought VU was a good fit and enrolled in the Bachelor degree.

When asked what drew him to engineering, he responded, “I was always a big car person. I was always working on cars, and I think a lot of country people can resonate with that stuff. They always seemed to have a hand in farm machinery or cars. I had a big shed, my father was a mechanic. So I grew up around it and was always very interested in it.”

“I think it had been suggested to me a few times and I just thought, ‘Okay, I'll give it a go.’ I didn't really know what was involved when I first started, but I learned to love it pretty quickly. Everything science-related, I've always been a bit of a fan of. It was a natural progression, really.”

Thomas wasn’t too sure about applying for the scholarship at first. He didn’t seem himself as the kind of person who would have the outstanding grades needed. Luckily, he changed his mind because his academic result made him the perfect fit.

Impact of the Bogong Scholarship

The scholarship has been a massive help for him.

Coming from a regional area, Thomas said, “I have to front the same living costs that everyone else does when they move out of home for the first time. So, the things that I've got, rent, I have all the bills, I have fuel if I want to go somewhere.

“It's almost three months rent. If study gets hard, and I've got something like that, it takes the pressure off so much, whether it be textbooks, or even eating, or paying for rent.

“Then, I can study more and focus on my studies, it all plays a massive role. When you work two days a week, that $5,000 a year makes up a large amount of your yearly income. It definitely goes a long way in helping and supporting and keeping people here.”

Support our students

Thank you to all the generous members of the VU family who support students like Thomas. His story is just one example of how this community makes sure that students can succeed at VU.

Want to leave a legacy that supports students? Discover how you can leave a gift for VU in your Will.