Olivia even more animated about digital media, thanks to Westpac

Published:13 April 2018

Westpac Young Tech Scholar Olivia Currin.

Townsville's Olivia Currin tried studying pharmacy and then a business-psychology dual degree before settling on a Bachelor of Digital Media with CQUniversity.

Her goal of studying, graduating and seeking a career as an animator of games or advertising products has been boosted through the Westpac Young Tech Scholars program, worth $5000 each year.

Olivia is among 35 first-year undergraduate students across Australia who have just been awarded a technology scholarship to help strengthen Australia's pool of local talent.

As someone who works two jobs - one at the RSL and one at Qantas - Olivia says the extra funding is very welcome.

"I've always been a strong believer in finding a career that made me happy and made me want to go to work," Olivia says.

"I was never going to pursue something that I hated, which explains why two degrees later I've found something I actually want to do.

"Being an art enthusiast, I always thought pursuing a career as an artist would lead me nowhere. However, after discovering the technological side of art, I truly believe I have found something that I love and will still love in 50 years' time."

Having attended the Westpac Young Tech Scholars launch in Sydney, Olivia says she is now also interested in volunteering with The Pajama Foundation, which organises volunteers to read to foster children.

The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship is offered in partnership with 11 universities across Australia to drive greater gender and socio-economic diversity in the industry.

It provides financial support as well as real-world work experience, networking and development opportunities to students from all backgrounds who are passionate about technology and innovation.

Susan Bannigan, CEO of Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, says the Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship attracts young people from all walks of life, providing them with access to networks and practical learning experiences to help fast-track their growth and development as tomorrow’s technology innovators.

All 35 recipients will have the opportunity to apply for Westpac’s summer and winter technology internship programs. They will also gain lifelong membership to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by 100 scholars every year, forever, this network is designed to create opportunities for like-minded individuals to connect and collaborate to solve some of Australia’s biggest problems.

“Collectively these 35 young innovators have an incredible capacity to create meaningful change," Ms Bannigan says.

“The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship is just one element of Westpac’s extensive STEM advocacy program designed to encourage more high school and university students to consider a career in technology.

“The future of work is going to be driven by technology so it’s critical we invest in young, innovative Australians to help build a strong pipeline of talent in the industry for years to come.”

The Westpac Young Technologists Scholarship is one of five scholarships offered through Westpac Bicentennial Foundation. The foundation awarded its 300th scholar this year.