A JOINT contribution from a Woorndoo landowner and wind farm developer Tilt Renewables has provided a $30,000 benefit for Warrnambool College graduate Michael Loughhead.
Hailing from Woodford, he recently began his studies for a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at Deakin University’s Geelong campus.
Mr Loughhead said he had heard about the scholarship on the radio one day and thought it was a perfect opportunity.
“I chose to apply for the Salt Creek Scholarship because it aligns with my personal goal of working towards a career that helps our environment and makes the world a better place,” he said.
“I really want to work with renewable energy.”
Mr Loughhead thanked Tilt Renewables and Salt Creek landowner Peter Coy for the contribution towards his residency costs.
“It’s just a dream to be so supported through the cost of living away from home,” he said.
Tilt Renewables asset manager Barend van der Poll said the scholarship would allow a south west student to live closer to tertiary education throughout the life of the Salt Creek Wind Farm.
“We helped Mr Coy create this scholarship to bring benefit to the local community during the construction of our Salt Creek Wind Farm and beyond,” he said.
“Through ongoing conversations with Mr Coy and further consultation with a range of stakeholders, together we identified that there was a need for funding for Western District students to be able to relocate for their first choice of university or TAFE courses.
“We’re proud to be working in close partnership with Mr Coy and the Salt Creek Charitable Trust to invest in local young people and help them achieve their education and career goals.”
Mr Coy said about 26 locals seeking support applied for the scholarship, but Mr Loughhead stood out to the selection committee.
“They were all so good, they all should have won a scholarship,” he said.
“This scholarship is so important because while kids who grow up in the country are lucky in so many ways, once they finish high school, they’re often at a disadvantage compared with their city counterparts simply due to proximity to top tertiary institutions.
“I’m grateful that when I floated the idea for the scholarship that it was embraced and matched by Tilt Renewables dollar for dollar.”
Applications for the 2020 scholarship open on Monday, October 21 and close at 5pm on Friday, January 3.
For more information about applying for the 2020 scholarship, visit www.saltcreekscholarship.com.au.