Scholarship Recipient

2014

Helen Hagos

The John Byrne Scholarship recipient at Maribyrnong Secondary College is Helen Hagos. Born in Ethiopia in 1998, Helen was raised by her aunty after her parents died when she was very young. In 2008 she moved to Australia with her aunty and cousins. In 2013 the family’s circumstances changed, affecting the conditions of Helen’s visa.

This resulted in withdrawal of government support and cast uncertainty over her future in Australia. Despite these difficulties, Helen remained a very hard working, determined and conscientious student at Maribyrnong College and she successfully progressed into Year 10 in 2014.

One of the staff members wrote of Helen …. “Helen is a warm, friendly, delightful young woman who shows impressive resilience and endeavour in such difficult circumstances.

In July 2013 a student enrolled full time in a TAFE course studying English as a second language at Victoria University was awarded the John Byrne Scholarship for Semester 2. Unfortunately that student discontinued her course and could not be contacted so no monies were paid out from the John Byrne Memorial.

Following discussions with the Victoria University it was decided to award two scholarships in the following year, one with the amount of $1,000 and the other at the newly agreed amount of $1,500.

2013

Mrs Ak Derya

The successful VU recipient was 33 years Ak Derya, who arrived in Australia in 2010 from Turkey as a political refugee. Ak received her permanent residence in 2011. At the time she received the scholarship, she was enrolled on a full time basis in Diploma of Liberal Arts. She completed her first semester of this course with an average of Distinctions.

2013

Mrs Ak Derya

The successful VU recipient was 33 years Ak Derya, who arrived in Australia in 2010 from Turkey as a political refugee. Ak received her permanent residence in 2011. At the time she received the scholarship, she was enrolled on a full time basis in Diploma of Liberal Arts. She completed her first semester of this course with an average of Distinctions.

Mr. Hiep Do

The recipient for the John Byrne Spirit Award at Maribyrnong Secondary College was year 12 student, Hiep Do. Despite being an excellent academic student with high expectations of himself and his own future academic and overall life goals, Hiep makes great contributions to the school life at Maribyrnong College.

He has always been a polite, positive and helpful student both in the classroom and in many extracurricular activities that includes attending many junior badminton development sessions and volunteering to help younger students to develop their skills in a coaching capacity, taking part in the school leadership team (School Captain) and is a valued member of the SRC.

2012

Mr Amanuel Abraham

The VU Scholarship recipient was Mr Amanuel Abraham who was chosen by the VU Scholarship Selection Panel from a total of 25 applicants. He arrived in Australia in 2008 from Eritrea and holds a Permanent Humanitarian Visa.

Mr Abraham is currently enrolled on a full time basis in a Diploma in Laboratory Technician. He completed the first year of this course with an average of High Distinctions (scores in the 90s) and received the scholarship funding at the beginning of 2012 to complete the second year of his Diploma.

Mr Leroy Kandea

Leroy Kandea, a student in Year 11 at Maribyrnong Secondary College, was awarded the John Byrne Memorial Scholarship. Leroy is a refugee from Liberia and has lived in various refugee camps since 2002. He has been described by his teacher as a diligent, hard-working student who shows a determination to learn and achieve.

2011

Ms Esther Ting Paw

Esther was studying Year 12 at Maribyrnong College.  She arrived in Australia with her family in 2007 and has since applied herself very diligently to learning English and undertaking secondary school studies. When she was very young her father fled Burma for Malaysia because the political situation in his home country made it dangerous for him to stay. In 2006 Esther’s mother and most of the family escaped to Malaysia to join her father leaving Esther and her younger brother behind in Burma. There followed a very difficult time for Esther until she and her brother were able to be reunited with the family in 2007 and together they all came to Australia as refugees. She was highly recommended by staff at the school who are impressed by her diligence and persistence with her studies.

Mr Bassel Tallal (for the inaugural John Byrne Spirit Award)

Bassel was studying in year 12 at Maribyrnong Secondary College who fitted all the criteria – willingness to help others.  He has been a carer for his father, a college captain and has organised school activities, which he has always done for the entire six years he has been at school.

2010

Ms Sher Gay Moon Khin Yin

Khin Yin arrived in Australia in 2008 from Myanmar. She was enrolled on a full time basis in a Certificate III in Children’s Services and a Certificate III in ESL (Employment). In addition to the $1,000 scholarship, Ms Kin Yin was offered mentoring support on behalf of the JBM. Through the JBM network she obtained placement and subsequent casual employment at MacKillop Family Services.

Ms Halla Abdullahi

Halla was in Year 11 at Maribyrnong Secondary College. She was living with an aunt who arranged for her to come to Australia after both her parents died in Ethiopia. Both she and her sister spent nearly two years in Egypt waiting for their papers to be processed for entry into Australia. During that time neither of the girls attended school but Halla bought some books and taught herself basic English so that when she arrived she could understand conversations around her. In the seven months she had at language school upon arrival, Halla improved her English oral and written skills quickly and is making progress at school.

2009

Mr Tha Gay Aung

The successful applicant for the John Byrne Scholarship at Victoria University was Mr Tha Gay AUNG. He was 28 years of age and arrived in Australia in April 2008 from Burma. Tha was enrolled on a full time basis in a Certificate IV in Hospitality comprising 913 study hours over the year. He hoped that his studies would assist him to become a hotel manager. In addition to funding of $1000, mentoring support was offered to Tha on behalf of the John Byrne Memorial.

Miss Kafiya Abdullahi

Kafiya Abdullahi, a VCE student at Maribyrnong Secondary College was nominated by her teachers for this scholarship because of her outstanding dedication to her studies in both Year 10 and 11. A refugee from Somalia, Kafiya is the primary carer for her mother who is seriously ill. Kafiya is a great role model for other students, making the most of private study time in the VCE room and working hard towards her goals.

2008

Mr. Wol Akec Wol

The successful candidate for the 2008 John Byrne Scholarship at Victoria University was Wol Akec Wol. He was 29 years of age, arrived in Australia in 2006 from Sudan and held a Permanent Humanitarian Visa. He was enrolled on a full time basis in a Diploma of Information Technology (General) and an Advanced Diploma of Computer Systems Engineering, having completed a Certificate III in Information Technology in 2007. Wol’s love of soccer helped him to settle into Australia where he joined a soccer team in Sunshine 2007.

Miss Arbenita Qorri

Arbenita came to Australia with her parents, brother and sister in 1999 among the 4000 Kosovar “expellees” granted temporary protection visas after being driven out of their war torn homeland in the late nineties. Concerned about what lay ahead of them if they returned home and attracted by the opportunities Australia offered their children, the Qorris made a bid to stay here and were granted permanent protection in May 2007 after an eight-year wait. With the support of Melbourne’s Albanian community they settled in the western suburbs and the close-knit family made the most of their opportunities. In 2007 Arbenita was recommended for the John Byrne Scholarship by staff at her school, Maribyrnong Secondary College.

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