Thomas, who is studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) and is due to graduate at the end of 2023, 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.