Exceptional students who have the potential to make a significant contribution to our College and community.

 

2017 St Andrew’s Scholars

The St Andrew’s Scholars are exceptional young men and women who thrive academically, are engaged in life and have the potential to make a significant positive contribution to our College and, in the future, the broader community.

Oscar Bruck is one of our inaugural St Andrew’s Scholars in 2017. Below he discusses his past achievements and what he is most looking forward to in his time at College.

OSCAR BRUCK

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What are you studying?
Combined Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Laws

What is your greatest achievement to date?
The thing I am most proud of is being selected to represent my local electorate as a Member for State Youth Parliament. Whilst in sitting, I was able to introduce and debate legislation on education, the environment and public transport. Hearing from the community and bringing those concerns to the Parliament brought me an immense sense of joy, made me proud in my local area and taught me the power of community in its ability to bring about change.

What does being an inaugural St Andrew’s Scholar mean to you?
It is a deep honour. It has provided for me opportunities I would have otherwise never seen while here at University. It pulls you into a close and vibrant community at College, whilst also providing impetus to get the most out of your time at St Andrew’s.

What are you most excited for at St Andrew’s College?
Meeting the people. Being able to live with students from all around the state, country, and world provides a unique opportunity to learn new perspectives at the same time as also gaining a newfound independence.

Based on your interests and skills, in which areas of College life do you believe you’ll make the most significant contributions?
My aim is to contribute to College life in as many ways as I can. This includes drama and culture – such as Dramsoc, debating and writing – and also in academia.

What advice would you give to future St Andrew’s Scholars Program applicants?
St Andrew’s is looking for authentic students who have found something they are interested in and pursued it with vigour and spirit. There is no one activity or interest St Andrew’s is looking for that you need under your belt – it’s about having one that represents who you are and something you have thoroughly prosecuted. The easiest way to do that – be yourself!

 

DECLAN DRAKE

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What degree are you studying?
Combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws

What’s your greatest achievement to date?
Representing the views of young people in NSW as a member of the NSW Youth Advisory Council has not only been my greatest achievement, but has also led to a greater understanding of the issues facing young people in NSW. As a member I have had the opportunity to provide feedback to the Advocate for Children and Young People, the Minister and various other government departments, on policy effecting young people in NSW. I have been honoured to be a member of this council, and I value an opportunity for young people to be involved in decisions made that will ultimately affect them.

What does being an inaugural St Andrew’s Scholar mean to you?
For me, being a St Andrew’s Scholar means getting involved in a wide range of activities both in college and University life. It goes beyond being studious and means making positive contributions to St Andrew’s, the University and the community. It gives me the opportunity to move to Sydney and to become a part of a new, friendly and supportive community.

What are you most excited for at St Andrew’s College?
I am most excited to meet with a diverse range of incredible young men and women and to make friendships that will last a lifetime. Furthermore, St Andrew’s will allow me to transition toward independence, without being completely thrown in the deep end, which is definitely an exciting prospect.

Based on your interests and skills, in which areas of College life do you believe you’ll make the most significant contributions?
Being new to college life I realise I will be facing lots of new opportunities. One I’m most interested in is mixing with a diverse range of people and, based on my skills and interests, I’m looking forward to contributing to college life in social, cultural and sporting areas.

What advice would you give to future St Andrew’s Scholars Program applicants?
I think the most important thing is to value every opportunity, even the unexpected, and to make the most of these. I think whilst academia is important, your life is enriched by opportunities separate to this. I also think it is important to not be a part of a crowd, you need to step up and out and walk the road not taken.

 

SEDA HAMOUD

 

What degree are you studying?
Combined Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws

What’s your greatest achievement to date?
My greatest achievement to date has been in relation to leading my school environmental club for many years.  This involvement has burgeoned into running environmental forums for hundreds of students from primary and secondary schools across Sydney (the latest of which had the honour of having Dr Karl Kruszelnicki as a guest speaker), as well as giving speeches on various national and international platforms. As a result of this plethora of work, and the quantifiable benefits directly resultant from said initiatives, I was awarded one of the largest environmental honours in Australia, the title of NSW Young Sustainability Champion, amongst other accolades.

What does being an inaugural St Andrew’s Scholar mean to you?
It is an immense honour that I hope to utilise to make the most out of my time at St Andrews, as well as a means of ensuring my momentum for continued academic attainment and extra-curricular involvement is maintained and strengthened throughout my time at university. It also means an opportunity to give back, which I hope to do through engagement with the college’s numerous philanthropic initiatives.

What are you most excited for at St Andrew’s College?
I am most excited to continue to grow as a person on account of my newfound independence, as well as through exposure to different cultures, ideas, and lived experiences.

Based on your interests and skills, in which areas of College life do you believe you’ll make the most significant contributions?
I hope to contribute to the college in as many ways as possible, including involvement in debating, writing, drama, and sporting activities. I also hope to contribute to the academic strength of the college.

What advice would you give to future St Andrew’s Scholars Program applicants?
The most useful advice I have for future applicants is to be organised and to submit your application early. This is to not only ensure that your application is well drafted but to also enable you to avoid overlap with the more stressful periods of year 12. I would also suggest ensuring that your extra-curricular involvement is varied in nature and scope, as without doing so you may never know where your true passion may reside. Best of luck!

 

XAVIER EALES

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What degree are you studying?
I will be studying a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws. From a young age, the areas of commerce and law evoked in me a spirit of curiosity and questioning. This fascination was furthered during school when economics and debating opened my eyes to the scale of global enterprise and the foundations of social order. Through cultural exchanges to Asia and a gap year which delved deep into the crux of the world’s largest economy, China, I had my first irresistible taste of commerce and law in action on a grand scale.

What’s your greatest achievement to date?
In his final days, my grandfather told me to “never be comfortable in your comfort zone”. That was why I embarked on a gap year, the completion of which I count as my greatest achievement. I isolated myself from all that I knew –friends, family and financial dependency. I lasted 328 days overseas, visiting 23 countries and 65 cities throughout three continents. I spanned 5,694m of altitude (from -429m at the Dead Sea to 5,265m at Everest) and a temperature range of 91℃ (from -41℃ in Finland to 50℃ in Iran). I emerged with an advanced proficiency in Chinese. But most importantly, through hardship and isolation, I came to value my own company. I loved me for who I truly was.

What does being an inaugural St Andrew’s Scholar mean to you?
Being a St Andrew’s Scholar is an immense honour. It was during high school that I first began to seriously consider what I wanted my adult formation to look like. It quickly became evident that St Andrew’s was the place for me – it is an institution filled with extraordinary people who are informed and propelled by set of core values which match my own. Being a St Andrew’s Scholar isn’t only an honour, though. It also comes with a responsibility – to give the College my all. And that is what I plan to do.

What are you most excited for at St Andrew’s College?
Being a boarder during my last two years of high school opened my eyes to the incredible feeling of camaraderie amongst those who you live and learn with. It’s that same feeling of community which most excites me about St Andrew’s. By all accounts, it is a place with an embedded culture of tightly-knit friendships. That is a culture I can see myself contributing greatly to.

Based on your interests and skills, in which areas of College life do you believe you’ll make the most significant contributions?
I believe that I’ll make significant contributions to both the academic and social aspects of College life. On the academic side, I will focus largely on engagement with my peers. A strong learning environment is fostered through constructive debate, and I see an abundance of opportunities for this through the tutorials at the College and discussions with any mentors or buddies. With regards to the social aspect of College, I’ll work to create meaningful relationships, always opening social circles rather than closing them.

What advice would you give to future St Andrew’s Scholars Program applicants?
Your application should overflow with things to talk about. If it doesn’t, you should use that as an incentive to go out and do more, learn more and risk more. When you eventually put pen to paper to distil your achievements into an application, use it as a cathartic process to appreciate the fruits of your labours. When it comes to the interview, be yourself. If you have genuine passions, trust that the conversation will naturally steer that way. Don’t try to force it.

 

The St Andrew’s Scholars program is seeking young people with the capacity and commitment to realise their potential to become leaders in the university, the nation and the world. The College will provide students of outstanding abilities with a residential environment that enhances their university experience, providing them with opportunities to extend their talents and interests and to develop lives of meaning.

The scholarships will provide financial support of $25,000 per annum and will be awarded for the duration of each student’s undergraduate degree, whilst they live in St Andrew’s.

Applications for the 2018 intake open in April. Visit St Andrew’s Scholars Program for more information as it becomes available.