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Westpac awards over $2 million to help 17 young Australians become future leaders

19 February, 2018

Westpac has awarded 17 exceptional young Australians with a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship to undertake post-graduate study at one of Australia’s nine leading universities.

The scholarships are valued at over $2 million, providing each individual up to $120,000 for research or coursework studies at a graduate level, including a nine month bespoke leadership development program and international experiences. 

Susan Bannigan, CEO of Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, said Westpac Future Leaders come from diverse fields and backgrounds with a common goal - to shape a better future for all Australians.

“From researching new molecules that are capable of killing cancer cells by attacking their DNA,  to innovating digital intercultural education programs – the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship attracts an incredibly high calibre of talented and driven individuals.

“All the 2018 scholars are passionate about one or more of the Foundation’s focus areas - innovation and technology, enabling positive social change, and strengthening Australia’s ties with Asia –Westpac is proud to help realise their full leadership potential,” said Susan.   

Junior doctor and University of New South Wales student Shakif Shakur is one of the 2018 Westpac Future Leader Scholars. He is pursuing a Masters of Public Health/Masters of International Public Health with the aim of helping to improve the health outcomes of communities experiencing disadvantage.

“Being a migrant doctor, I hope to form relationships with research facilities overseas, perhaps paving the way for exchange of information between countries and increasing the skills of other doctors and health professionals.

“The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship sets me on an exciting journey with an incredibly motivated group of individuals. A wealth of opportunities will open up as I network with individuals and industry leaders from a range of different disciplines – people that I would not otherwise have had a chance to meet.  I still have difficulty expressing how much this scholarship means to me.”

Shakif and the 16 other students will also gain lifelong membership to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network to join an incredible group of inspiring leaders. 

“Scholarship funding can help launch a vision but it takes a network of inspired and inspiring people to sustain it. That’s why every Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship recipient will be part of the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Growing by 100 scholars a year across our five scholarship programs, this network will connect those with bold ideas and help to build a better future for all Australians,” Susan added.

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is offered in partnership with The University of Adelaide, The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, University of Tasmania, University of New South Wales and University of Western Australia. It is one of five scholarships offered through the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, which awards 100 scholarships every year, forever.

For more information go to


2018 Westpac Future Leaders Scholars:

Australian National University
Adam Mater

Monash University
Erin Scott
Karl Williamson

University of Adelaide
Matilda Handsley-Davis
Alexandra Hawthorn
Kate Obst

University of Melbourne
Katherine Aldred
Maxim Mattvey

University of NSW
Grace Constable
Joseph Rowlands
Shakif Shakur

University of Queensland

Esmi Zajaczkowski 

University of Sydney
Marvin Law
Ashley Vines

University of Tasmania
Matilda Brown

University of Western Australia
Ryan Bunney   
Sabrina Davies