A Victoria University student who returned to school in her 40s has received a prestigious Australian Broadcasting Corporation scholarship for women studying technology courses.
Barbara Marsh, who recently completed VU vocational education courses in both information technology and website development, said she nearly didn’t apply for the ABC program because she thought she might be too old.
“I knew the competition would be tough since this scholarship is awarded to only one woman in each state,” she said.
“Even after I was shortlisted, I didn’t think I’d win it.”
The ABC’s Women in Broadcast Technology scholarship includes four-weeks paid on-the-job training and a $1000 book allowance. Its aim is to develop greater gender balance in the organisation’s technology areas.
Barbara’s interest in information technology and computing dates back to the early years of personal computers. When she got her first computer in the 1990s, she wasn’t content to use it simply for word-processing or spreadsheets.
“I had to tinker around with it and ended up doing all the upgrades myself. Since then, I’ve built a few computers for myself and for family and friends.”
Nearly two years ago Barbara decided to turn her hobby into a profession and return to studies at Victoria University as a mature-aged student.
She impressed her teacher, Nick Cypreou so much he encouraged her to apply for the ABC program.
“Receiving the scholarship has given me a great opportunity to combine my classroom learning with practical on-the-job skills at an internationally recognised organisation,” she said.
Barbara said the scholarship was important to encourage women like her to study for roles in a traditionally male-dominated industry.