Master of Economics student receives prestigious Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship

19 February 2018

Image: Ashley Vines, Master of Economics student and Westpac Future Leader Scholarship recipient
Image: Ashley Vines, Master of Economics student and Westpac Future Leader Scholarship recipient

Two University of Sydney students have been awarded Future Leaders scholarships through the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, which will allow them to undertake fully funded postgraduate studies at Sydney. The students were chosen for their academic profile, extracurricular involvement and leadership potential.

One of these students is Ashley Vines, who is studying a Master of Economics degree at the University of Sydney. As a Westpac Future Leader, Ashley will receive funding for his studies, as well as intensive leadership training and membership in a network of supportive alumni.

Here Ashley gives us an insight into what makes a Westpac Future Leaders Scholar, and what we can expect to see from him in the future.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I've worked in agriculture, construction, disability care, indigenous affairs and the not-for-profit sector, and have a desire to pursue a career in public policy. Aside from my academic focus, I am a keen surfer with a love of the cold waves of Victoria.

When you were 8, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The drummer for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

How will your research benefit Australians?

By studying economics, I will be able to better understand the complex interaction of social and economic forces that provide for and maintain inequality and disadvantage in Australia. I will use these learnings to pursue a career in public policy where I hope to help pave the way for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Australia.

What does this Westpac scholarship mean to you?

Being awarded a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is incredibly humbling. In 2017, I was working on the Tiwi Islands, assisting to run a small farm and working with a group of Indigenous students. I would not have thought that a year later, I would have the opportunity and financial backing to study a Masters of Economics at the University of Sydney. A Westpac Scholarship means that I am far closer to being able to translate my grassroots experiences and learnings to improve Australia's policy space around sustainability and inclusion for all. I also look forward to utilising the Westpac Scholars' networks to work collaboratively and make this vision a reality.

Read the full article 'Introducing our new Westpac Scholars' here.