The St Andrew’s Scholars Program seeks young people with the capacity and commitment to realise their potential to lead their College, university, nation and world. The scholarships offered as part of the Program provide full fee relief and are awarded for the entire duration of each student’s undergraduate degree. Successful applicants are exceptional young men and women who thrive academically, are engaged in life, and have the potential to make a significant positive contribution to College and, in the future, the wider community.
We welcomed three new St Andrew’s Scholars in our 2021 fresher cohort. Here, we introduce Mari Watkins:
What are you studying, and at which university?
I am studying a Bachelor of Law and Arts, majoring in Ancient History, at University of Sydney.
Where are you from?
My family comes from the mining communities of the South Wales Valleys. My parents valued education above all else and this was their route to international careers that meant I had lived in four countries before the age of seven. Since then, Australia has been my home and my awe-inspiring backyard. The values here at College reflect both my Celtic ancestry and the future I hope to forge for myself as a citizen of Australia.
What made you choose St Andrew’s College?
The choice was crystalised in two Androvian strengths.
Firstly, the spirit of this College. The Drew’s name, to me, represents pursuit of excellence in every field. This pursuit, however, is one defined by not simply striving to achieve highly for yourself but for and within a cohort and a culture that will support your every step. This is a spirit that we saw come alive from our very first minutes as Androvians. It’s found on the sporting field, in the libraries and even the Highlander Bar.
Secondly, it’s the students of this College, both past and present. Entering the Dining Hall each day, it is a privilege to be surrounded by current students who are each exceptional young people and role models in their own way. From our student leaders to my fellow freshmen and women, these are young people whom I admire for their individual talents and achievements. The legacy of St Andrew’s is alive in its alumni, who are pioneers in every facet of Australian society and industry. This network is not only a precious resource but a model for every current Androvian to look towards.
What have been the highlights of your time here so far?
The highlights of my time so far at College have been the small, easy-to-overlook moments. Conversations on the grand staircase, chants on the Oval and interactions with second and third-years who exude a welcoming enthusiasm and infectious excitement at what the cohort of 2021 might add to College life. These moments are already memories in the making.
What are you looking forward to this year – in which areas are you planning to become involved within College?
I hope to embrace the wealth of opportunities available to Androvians. I aim to: participate in debating and oration in the Palladian Cup; volunteer at the renowned Children’s Camp initiative; study an Italian course at College; and take to the hockey pitch, athletics track and ski slopes through Rosebowl sport.
What does being a St Andrew’s Scholar mean to you?
It means promise. In both meanings of the word. Firstly, in offering us a scholarship, the College has recognised our promise, our potential as young people to contribute and continually grow within the university gates and beyond. Therefore, secondly, in accepting that scholarship, we have made a promise in turn, to give all that we have to this community in thanks for the generosity and trust of the College and its benefactors.
Below: 2021 St Andrew’s Scholars – Rosie Charge, Jules Vahl and Mari Watkins
Photo credit: Nina Fan (fr 2020)