News

Sydney student wins NSW Rhodes Scholarship


19 October 2006

Kate Brennan, aged 23, aims to use her Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford to undertake an MPhil in Development Studies with particular interest in post-conflict development in Cambodia and Bangladesh.
Kate Brennan, aged 23, aims to use her Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford to undertake an MPhil in Development Studies with particular interest in post-conflict development in Cambodia and Bangladesh.

The winner of the 2007 NSW Rhodes Scholarship is Kate Brennan, a University of Sydney Arts/Law undergraduate.

The announcement was made today at NSW Government House by the Governor, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, AC.

Kate Brennan, aged 23, aims to use her Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford to undertake an MPhil in Development Studies with particular interest in post-conflict development in Cambodia and Bangladesh.

She was educated at TARA, North Parramatta, Baulkham Hills Primary, Fort Street High School, Petersham and MLC School, Burwood before entering the University of Sydney where she completed a BA with First Class Honours in 2004. Since then she has been completing an LLB (law) which she will finish later this year.

Kate is a sporting all-rounder having rowed for the University of Sydney in skulls and in a women's eight. She is also a competitive swimmer and accredited swimming coach and has competed in a half marathon. She is fluent in German and also speaks French and Mandarin.

In 2004 Kate also gained experience assisting solicitors working with Indigenous people in Arnhem Land and Redfern. Following from this experience she established a community swimming and public health education program and with sponsorship from Macquarie Bank Sports and Speedo trained Indigenous women as swimming coaches as part of a program to re-engage teenagers from the Ngukurr community in Arnhem Land.

Kate is Young Australian of the Year for NSW 2006 and was flag bearer for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Since February this year Kate has also worked as a full-time volunteer and the Assistant Director of the Oaktree Foundation, Australia's first entirely youth run aid and development organisation.

'I wish to study for an MPhil in Development Studies at Oxford as I seek to investigate the opportunities for investment in young people as human capital. Ultimately, I believe that those who are deprived of freedom through poverty deserve supportive partnerships to enable them to use their own creativity and innovative solutions to be able to live in greater freedom,' said Kate.

From the selection of this year's NSW Rhodes Scholarship finalists, two other participants will now go into the selection for the 'Australia at Large Rhodes Scholarship', which will be announced in Canberra later this year. They are Angela Cummine, a University of Sydney Graduate in Arts/Law and Eric Knight, who is also studying for a Bachelor of Arts/Law at the University of Sydney.

Last year's NSW Rhodes Scholarship winner, Jonathan Bonnitcha who is currently undertaking postgraduate study in law at Oxford, is also a University of Sydney graduate.

Previous prominent Rhodes Scholars include Malcolm Turnbull, Geoffrey Robertson, Kim Beazley and Bob Hawke.


Contact: Jake O'Shaughnessy

Phone: +61 2 9351 4312 or 0421 617 861

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