Alumni transforming student futures

We want to say a big thank you to the 100 (and counting) alumni who supported the Transforming Futures Scholarship Fund through the 2019 Phone Appeal. Thank you for taking the call and connecting with our current students and helping future students reach their full potential.

2019 UOW Student Caller Team

2019 Student Caller TeamNew and current students who need financial support to start or continue their studies can apply for the Transforming Futures Scholarship worth $9,000 over three years. UOW absorbs all the administration cost so every cent of your donation goes directly to students who might otherwise not be able to access tertiary education. We empower students to use the money where their need is greatest, whether on learning materials, accommodation costs or on equipment to help them boost their ambitions.

Dr Ben Buckley from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) is a great example of what a difference a Transforming Futures Scholarship can make. In 2010, a young Ben Buckley was a second year biotechnology student, watching his savings quickly drying up while he was scraping by on less than $150 per week. He was worried he’d have to prioritise holding down a job over his studies to continue doing the very thing he valued most – studying at UOW and pursuing a career in biomedical research.

“I was a university student trying hard to succeed in my academic pursuits, while attempting to support myself on Austudy and rental assistance. I was going to need a part-time job, but I knew that would have negatively impacted my studies,” Dr Buckley says.

A Transforming Futures Scholarship gave a young man from Batemans Bay the financial reprieve he needed to complete his degree and become a scientist at the cutting edge of cancer research.

“The scholarship made a huge difference in my life. It allowed me to continue to focus on my studies without the stress of having to find and maintain a job. I attribute my good results in my second and third undergraduate years to these funds, which set me up for the beginning of my research career, too.

“It was a privilege to receive this kind of support, so I made sure I really applied myself and made the most of it.”

It is this diligence in making the most of his opportunities that has seen Dr Buckley not only finish his Bachelor’s degree with honours and complete his PhD, but also rise in prominence as a respected young researcher in the field. He is now an Associate Research Fellow at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI).

“Being a young scientist at IHMRI is a real privilege. It’s a very supportive, open and collaborative research environment; there’s a real feeling like everyone is on the same team and that our individual successes contribute to the Institute as a whole. This is by no means the usual situation, so I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to do my work there.”

The subject of Dr Buckeley’s PhD and laboratory work ever since, is working to enhance the cancer-fighting characteristics of a drug compound called amiloride. His research has the potential to help thousands of people around the world who have the notoriously deadly pancreatic cancer.

“By altering the structure of amiloride, we’ve been able to make it over 100 times stronger at stopping cancer from growing and spreading, known as metastasis,” explains Dr Buckley.

The keen researcher has worked with colleagues at IHMRI, Professor Marie Ranson and Associate Professor Michael Kelso, to take their original idea from a hypothesis, all the way through the early-stage testing and development, proving it works in cells and is effective in treating cancer in mice. He is now working with a drug developer to optimise their product for human use.

“My primary focus now is to do all I can to ensure we have the best versions of our drug candidates – their safest and most efficacious form – before we advance them to clinical trials.”

If you have any questions about a phone call you have received or would like more information about how to give, please do not hesitate to contact us on: 02 4221 5757.

2019 Student Callers

Student Degree Faculty
Afrida Master of Computer Science Faculty of Engineering & Information Sciences
Alex Bachelor of Communications & Media Faculty of Law, Humanities & the Arts
Amruthaa Master of Applied Finance Faculty of Business
Amy Bachelor of Pre-Medicine Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health
Anh Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) Faculty of Business
Ashley Bachelor of Psychology Faculty of Social Sciences
Bede Bachelor of Science (Physics) Faculty of Engineering & Information Sciences
Emma Bachelor of Mathematics & Finance Faculty of Engineering & Information Sciences
Haydn Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) Faculty of Law, Humanities & the Arts
Jamie Bachelor of Commerce Faculty of Business
Laura Master of Public Health Faculty of Social Sciences
Lydia Bachelor of Public Health Faculty of Social Sciences
Lyndsay Bachelor of Psychology Faculty of Social Sciences
Priyanka Master of Accounting Faculty of Business
Shane Bachelor of Arts Faculty of Law, Humanities & the Arts
Sunny Bachelor of Commerce & Bachelor of Communication & Media Faculty of Business & Faculty of Law, Humanities & the Arts
Tashiya Bachelor of Pre-Medicine Faculty of Science, Medicine & Health
Terence PhD Candidate Faculty of Engineering & Information Sciences

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