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Inaugural Westpac Bicentennial Foundation scholarships reward innovation

15 December 2015
Commencing students recognised for sustainable engineering, legal support and digital literacy

Three commencing University of Sydney students have been announced inaugural recipients of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Future Leaders scholarships.

Three commencing University of Sydney students have been named inaugural recipients of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Future Leaders scholarships.

Students Isaac Carney (Master of Professional Engineering (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)), Ishaa Sandhu (Juris Doctor) and Nishan David (Executive Master of Arts and Social Sciences) were today awarded Future Leaders Scholarships.

Valued at up to $120,000 over two to three years, the scholarships recognise exceptional postgraduate students with the potential to make a difference to Australia’s future in one of three categories: technology and innovation; strengthening Australia-Asia ties; and enabling positive social change.

It’s just a matter of unleashing the creativity and imagination of young Australians to create a brighter future, one with human flourishing at the centre.
Nishan David
Isaac Carney

Sustaining Australian industry through sustainable chemical engineering

Isaac Carney (B.SC.(HONS) ’15), (B.Sc.(Adv) ’13) was recognised with a Future Leaders scholarship for his vision for sustaining Australia’s resources and agriculture sectors through green technology and water management.

“Resources and agriculture have contributed enormously to our economic development and continue to dominate what the world sees when it thinks of the Australian economy, with good reason,” said Isaac, who will commence his Master of Professional Engineering (Chemical and Biomolecular) in 2016.

“However, these are two areas that will change rapidly in the near future, as we experience the so-called clean industrial revolution. We must be equipped to handle and benefit from this transition to cleaner and potentially higher value industries. Chemical engineers are crucial to mastering this change.

“More sustainable practices in resource extraction, energy generation, and especially in water consumption, will grant Australia a competitive advantage for many years to come.”

Ishaa Sandhu

Legal support for Australian entrepreneurs

Ishaa Sandhu, who will commence her studies for a Juris Doctor in 2016, aims to use her Future Leaders scholarship to support Australian entrepreneurs as they navigate the legal system.

“While volunteering in the start-up community, I noticed that most entrepreneurs do not have the legal support or financial capital to effectively engage Australians, let alone capitalise internationally – most importantly in Asia,” Ishaa said.

“Australia’s entrepreneurs - no matter which field they choose to innovate in - require strong support in terms of the law.”

Ishaa hopes to complete a program at the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology or the Stanford Program in Law, Science and Technology as part of her degree, with the goal of bringing her skills back to the domestic tech start-up space. 

Nishan David

Digital literacy to improve human life

Nishan David will use his Future Leaders scholarship to explore the power of technology and creativity for the good of humanity when he commences his Executive Master of Arts and Social Sciences in 2016.

“I want young Australians to believe that technology is not just about making human life more convenient or comfortable, but making human life better,” Nishan said.

“As my generation steps into the driver’s seat, we will need to navigate an increasingly complex range of national and global issues - including climate change, rising inequality, resource sustainability, population movement and a rapidly changing economy.”

“In this context, yesterday’s solutions will not necessarily solve tomorrow’s problems. The good news is that we have some of the most powerful tools in human history at our fingertips. It’s just a matter of unleashing the creativity and imagination of young Australians to create a brighter future, one with human flourishing at the centre.”

As a Future Leaders Westpac Scholar, Nishan hopes to attend the 2017 Skoll World Forum of Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford, considered the premier international event for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Past participants have included Nobel Laureates Mohammad Yunus, Malala Yousafzai and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as leaders from the business world such as Sir Richard Branson and Michael Porter.