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Introducing our new Westpac Scholars

19 February 2018
Two students receive prestigious scholarship
Two students have been awarded Future Leaders scholarships through the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, allowing them to undertake fully funded postgraduate studies at Sydney.

The University of Sydney is proud to welcome two Westpac Future Leaders Scholars in 2018, Ashley Vines and Marvin Law. The students were chosen for their academic profile, extracurricular involvement and leadership potential.

As Westpac Future Leaders, they’ll receive funding for their studies, as well as intensive leadership training and membership in a network of supportive alumni.

Ashley and Marvin give us insight into what makes a Westpac Future Leaders Scholar, and what we can expect to see from them in the future.

Photo of Ashley Vines

Ashley Vines: Master of Economics

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.

Photo of Marvin Law

Marvin Law (Bachelor of Psychology, 2015): PhD candidate

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney with a keen interest in the role of physiological markers and human factors in understanding and influencing decision-making processes. Outside of work, I also love to rock climb. In the same way that research requires critical thinking, the problem solving required in rock climbing is just as enjoyable.

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

When I was 8, I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut, travelling and discovering new findings in space.

How will your research benefit Australians?

My PhD investigates the role of physical markers to predict and manipulate decision making, essentially understanding what people are going to do without even asking them. My aspirations are to work as a psychologist and data scientist to collect data from the latest technology to help guide policy to overcome many of the issues facing Australia.

What does this Westpac scholarship mean to you?

The opportunity to be a Westpac Future Leaders Scholar has been such a life-changing event for my career path. Not only will I be able to focus more easily on my PhD research, I will also come into contact with many other talented academics through the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. I aspire to apply and translate my research in Australia and overseas.