Joseph: My experience with Hunter Water Scholarships

Have you heard of the undergraduate scholarships offered by Hunter Water? I couldn’t really blame you if you hadn’t – with that many scholarships on offer at UON it’s easy to lose track. But with $22,500 up for grabs, I’d be paying attention.

In 2018 I was lucky enough to be the recipient of the inaugural Hunter Water Corporation Undergraduate Disability Scholarship. Essentially, the purpose of this scholarship is to provide an opportunity for a student with a disability to gain support with their studies through financial assistance. There’s also the opportunity for indigenous students to receive similar benefits through the Hunter Water Corporation Indigenous Community Leadership Scholarship. However, for the purpose of this article, I’ll just be speaking from my own personal experience. So, if you’re curious about whether you might be eligible for the Disability scholarships, let me enlighten you about its benefits.

Benefits of Hunter Water Corporation Undergraduate Disability Scholarship

Now you must be wondering, what does this scholarship entail and what are the benefits of being a recipient of this scholarship?

Well, the most obvious benefit probably seems like the annual payment of $7,500 for up to three years. Theoretically, this means you can be the recipient of $22,500! That’s a lot of textbooks.

While it may be easy to assume the biggest benefit from any scholarship is the financial support to help alleviate the costs of attending university, for me there was something much more valuable. Paid work experience.

That’s right – paid work experience.

In this day and age, more and more employers are looking to employ students who not only have good grades, but relevant work experience. As a result, any experience I can get is a bonus. I will commence work experience in January for one day a week working in Hunter Water’s Human Resources and Legal Department! If you couldn’t already tell – I’m pretty keen.

Applying for Hunter Water Corporation Undergraduate Disability Scholarship

Now those ears (or eyes) are perked, let me tell you my experience in applying for the Hunter Water Corporation Undergraduate Disability Scholarship. On the whole it was pretty similar to how you would go about applying for other scholarships at UON.

Firstly, I had to meet its eligibility criteria, being that I must:

  • Be enrolled in 1st or 2nd year of an undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle.
  • Be registered with UON’s AccessAbility service for support with a disability.
  • Demonstrate academic achievement by a Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.0 or higher.
  • Demonstrate impact of educational disadvantage, such as carer, sole parent, financial hardship, English language difficulty, Indigenous Australian, long term medical condition or effects of abuse, disability, refugee status, regional/remote disadvantage.
  • Not have previously completed an Australian undergraduate degree program.
  • Not be the recipient of another UON Donor funded or sponsored scholarship concurrently.
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Since I met the above criteria, I had to send in my CV, academic transcript and a written statement addressing the selection criteria. I bet what’s going through that head of yours is what does the selection criteria involve? Considering how competitive the selection process, this is the part you really want to nail.

I had to write about myself, including my academic achievements and experience with educational disadvantage. I also had to address how the scholarship would help me with my studies and achieve my career aspirations.

After that, it was a waiting game, so imagine my surprise when I was the recipient!

If you’re looking for support in preparing scholarship applications, make sure to check out the Careers and Student Development team. They will be able to help you work through your application and make sure it’s the best it can be.

Scholarships Alert!!!

No need to fret if you’re not eligible for this particular scholarship. With more than one hundred scholarships available to UON students, there’s bound to something you can apply for! But you have to be in it to win it. Head on over to https://www.newcastle.edu.au/scholarships to find out what you’re eligible for!