The RAS Foundation provides scholarships to help rural Australians realise their potential through education, make a difference in their community and achieve their ambitions.
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Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship - applications open 1 August 2017
Established in 1826, the Sydney Royal Wine Show is one of the most prestigious wine shows in Australia. Attracting over 2,200 entries annually from over 300 Exhibitors across Australia, this is the opportunity for producers to have their product benchmarked against a cross-section of key Australian competitors, as well as the opportunity to win a coveted Sydney Royal Medal or Trophy.
Along with a judging panel selected by Chair of Judges Samantha Connew and the RAS of NSW Wine Committee, Stewards play a valuable role ensuring each day runs smoothly. Acting as a Steward for the Sydney Royal Wine Show provides unique insight into the wine industry and counts as relevant experience towards an Associate Judge role in the future.
The Sydney Royal Wine Show will welcome Viticulture student Hannah McKay from Charles Sturt University as a Steward this year. Employed by the iconic winery Vasse Felix in Margaret River, Western Australia, Ms McKay studies by distance travelling regularly from WA to NSW for her degree. This commitment to her education and her goal of becoming a leading female viticulturist saw Ms McKay awarded the 2017 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship.
The Sydney Royal Wine Committee along with the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) offers an annual tertiary scholarship, which honours the memory and contribution of Graham Thorp, Chair of the Sydney Royal Wine Committee from 1984 - 1990.
Sydney Royal Wine Committee Chair, Sally Evans, commended Ms McKay for her inspiring vision of how she plans to be involved in the future success of the Australian wine industry.
“It’s wonderful to be able to offer the opportunity of stewarding at the KPMG Sydney Royal Wine show to Ms McKay, who will benefit greatly from the learnings and networks she will receive access to. She not only impressed us with her passion for viticulture but also her desire to play a leading role in encouraging more young women into the wine industry,” Ms Evans said.
Ms McKay started working in the vineyards near her family home in the Southern Highlands of NSW after walking away from an office job and fell in love with the industry. Her interest lies in combining traditional farming practices with land management techniques and native species and exploring more sustainable ways of growing wine grapes in Australia.
“I’m thrilled to be selected for this amazing scholarship and excited about the opportunities it will bring as I work towards my goal of being a leading female viticulturist,”
“I am excited to connect with other like-minded people across Australia at the upcoming wine show and will use this scholarship to strengthen the precision and quality of Australian viticulture and wine,” she said.
RAS Foundation Executive Officer, Kate Ross, said the scholarship offers a welcome financial boost to our next generation of wine industry leaders as they strive to excel in their chosen careers.
“The fact that our 2017 scholarship recipient has chosen to relocate far from home and undertake distance studies while working in the wine industry shows a real commitment,” Ms Ross said.
Applications for the 2018 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship open on 1 August, the scholarship offers $6,000 for full-time study or $3,000 towards part-time education.