Kat de Jong's scholarship changed her life

7 May 2013

In 2010, Bachelor of Social Work research honours student Kat de Jong came down with a mixed connective tissue disease, forcing her to spend three months in hospital. Her study was put on hold and during this time she also tragically lost her father. Once she had mostly recovered, she was left with both immense emotional and physical challenges. She continues to suffer from severe arthritic pain and greatly decreased strength and energy. This makes even basic day-to-day student activities a challenge, like having the energy to get to the library for textbooks.

Kat successfully applied for the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Scholarship to help with the costs of her fourth year of study. The assistance provided by the scholarship has had a profound impact, reducing her financial burden and allowing her to focus on her studies. Kat graduated in April 2013 and recently took up a role as a foster care caseworker in Goulburn.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Scholarship is just one example where philanthropy has made a tangible difference to the lives of our students and the broader work of the University. Since our inception in 1850, the insight and generosity of our benefactors has had an indelible effect on who we are. Names like Thomas Fisher, John Henry Challis, Sir Samuel McCaughey, JW Power and William John Macleay will forever be associated with the University of Sydney.

On Saturday 4 May the University launched INSPIRED - the Campaign to support the University of Sydney- its first comprehensive fundraising campaign with the aim of raising $600 million from 40,000 donors over the coming decade. The campaign will focus our fundraising efforts to not only ensure that this tradition continues, but to provide much needed additional resources.

How you can help

One of the reasons that people choose to donate to the University is because they believe in what we do. They are inspired by how our research and teaching is changing people's lives and finding solutions to real world problems.

We need your stories to help engage donors with our work. Whether it's scholars leading work in their field, groundbreaking research initiatives, the creation of Indigenous pathways or inspiring scholarship students like Kat, we'd like to hear about it so we can share your story.