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Articles and stories about the RAS Foundations and its grant and scholarship recipients

Articles and stories about the RAS Foundations and its  grant and scholarship recipients

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Sydney Royal Wine Committee announces new Wine Scholarship

1 Aug 2017

The Sydney Royal Wine Committee, in partnership with the Royal Agricultural Society (of NSW) Foundation has announced a new and exciting industry scholarship opportunity to benefit a young person passionate about the Australian Wine industry. The Sydney Royal Wine Assessment Scholarship is the result of the continued success of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW’s KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show. The successful scholarship recipient will receive a fully paid position at the Australian Wine Research Institute's Advanced Wine Assessment Course (AWAC) taking place in Adelaide from Monday 20th – Thursday 23rd November, 2017. This new scholarship initiative has been made possible through an online auction of excess wine from the previous year’s Sydney Royal Wine Show, with the specific purpose of raising funds to support the Australian Wine industry through grants and scholarships. Chair of the Sydney Royal Wine Committee, Sally Evans, said it made sense to utilize the high-quality excess wine from the show to create career opportunities for young people in the wine industry. “We are delighted to introduce this new scholarship, funded by the sale of surplus wine show stock. It provides us with the opportunity to support the Australian Wine industry through the development of outstanding young industry professionals,” Ms Evans said. “The AWAC course is a world-class programme and we’re thrilled to provide this opportunity to a young person in our local wine industry,” she said. Value of Scholarship: $6,000 Applications Open: 1st August 2017 Applications Close: 17th September 2017 Eligibility Guidelines: Open to applicants 30 years and under. Applicants must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident. Applicants must be employed in the Australian Wine Industry or engaged in study in a related course. Applications can be made online by visiting www.rasnsw.com.au/scholarships For further information, including high resolution images, please contact: Roger White – Manager, Public Relations M: 0478 092 425 | P: 02 9704 1453 | E: rwhite@rasnsw.com.au About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation: The RAS Foundation is a charitable foundation that encourages educational opportunities and helps build strong and sustainable rural and regional communities through a range of targeted grants and scholarships. Visit www.rasf.org.au for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more

A tale of four Scholars

20 Jul 2017

RAS Foundation Scholarships provide a financial helping hand to assist students achieve their education goals. Students with a passion for rural issues and a commitment to playing a part in shaping the future of rural and regional NSW are encouraged to apply. Scholarships are open to students of any age and embrace a diverse range of tertiary or vocation, education and training studies. Amongst the 64 Rural Scholarship recipients for 2017 are the following students… Ryley Wickham, 17-years-old, has travelled 240kms from his hometown of Goonoo Goonoo to study a Certificate IV Agriculture at Tocal College. Ryley believes the future of farming and the ability to maximise the potential of the land lies in innovative technology. Kelsea Boots, 23-years-old, has relocated from Camden to Orange in order to complete her Bachelor of Dental Science at Charles Sturt University. The urgent need for rural health practitioners drives Kelsea’s goal of establishing a flying dental service to provide essential oral care to remote areas of Australia. Samuel Scarlett, 20-years-old, has moved from Cooma to Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga in order to study a Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours). Samuel wants to keep the merino industry thriving by investigating the role of genetics and nutrition in wool. Anne Johnston, 21-years-old, has transferred 400kms from home in Moree to study at the University of New England, Armidale. Anne hopes her Bachelor of Education (K-12) will enable her to teach in a rural community and help to keep youth thriving in rural towns.   Read more

Opportunity for Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship winner

10 Jul 2017

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. www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation/scholarships-and-grants/sydney-royal-wine-scholarship/ Read more

Applications open for JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism

3 Jul 2017

July 3, 2017 The rich tradition of Australian rural journalism is being celebrated once more through the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation's JB Fairfax Award. Applications have now opened for the 2018 JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism, the scholarship now entering its tenth year. This year there is a new twist to the Award, with the traditional request to write on a subject selected by the RASF replaced with an invitation to write an inspirational piece on a member of rural or regional Australia. RAS Foundation Executive Director Kate Ross says there is no end to the long list of colourful and inspirational characters who have and continue to make up the fabric of rural and regional Australia; “This is a golden opportunity for our journalists of the future to uncover some of the great stories that are out there but have in many cases gone unheralded,” Ms Ross said. This year the JB Fairfax Award scholarship has received a significant boost, with the addition of an internship opportunity with the ABC in Brisbane working on the iconic Landline and Country Hour programs and in the online newsroom. This internship will complement a suite of internships the award winner will have access to, including with Fairfax Agricultural Media’s The Land newspaper and the RAS Media Team at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. The JB Fairfax Award also includes a $10,000 cash prize. The most recent winner of the JB Fairfax Award was Singleton’s Elise Pfeiffer, who as part of her $10,000 scholarship, worked with the media team covering the many stories that emerged from the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show. Elise, a third year Journalism student at the University of Newcastle, says it was an invaluable learning opportunity and rates it as one of her best life experiences to date; “As a part of the scholarship I travelled down to Sydney to participate in the Sydney Royal Easter Show internship program - a fast paced two-week glimpse into the world of media,” said Elise. “As a third and final year journalism student, the opportunities the internship program offered were unlike any other work placement I could have dreamed of, whether it was being a part of a live television broadcast or assisting in a photoshoot. “Meeting John Fairfax was definitely one of the invaluable and defining moments of my time in Sydney,” Elise said. Applications close 30 September, 2017 with the successful recipient announced early 2018. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation to find out more about the scholarship, the editorial requirements and to complete the online application form. The JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism was established to encourage quality coverage of rural and regional affairs by local journalists. It operates through a generous annual donation by Mr John B Fairfax and is managed by the RAS Foundation. For further information, including high resolution images, please contact: Roger White – Manager, Public Relations Royal Agricultural Society of NSW P: (02) 9704 1453| E: rwhite@rasnsw.com.au   About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation: The RAS Foundation is a charitable foundation that encourages educational opportunities and helps build strong and sustainable rural and regional communities through a range of targeted grants and scholarships. Visit www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation/  for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more

Sweet Study for Scholar

3 Jul 2017

A 2016 Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation Rural Scholar is causing a buzz in apiculture with her research on a disease of economic importance to Australian agriculture. Tara Needham, a final year veterinary science student at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga, has undertaken an independent research project on American foulbrood (AFB), the most serious brood disease affecting honey bees in NSW. The bacterial disease kills larvae in their cells within the hive and current treatments exterminate the entire colony; devastating to an industry contributing approximately $36 million annually to the State’s economy. AFB is an infectious disease and can be spread by interchanging apiary equipment or if bees consume contaminated honey. Beekeepers are required to notify an apiary inspector under the Apiaries Act if their colonies are infected, if left unchecked AFB will eventually kill all the hives in an apiary and will spread to other hives within flying distance. “I expect to find AFB exists at subclinical levels in many hives and that while bees are able to manage those levels, environmental factors like stress and human influence such as pesticides can cause the disease to become pathogenic,” Needham said. The research involved collecting more than 1,000 samples over 5 months along with laboratory work to monitor seasonal patterns and AFB prevalence in the Riverina. Needham is now finalising results and aims to finish the report by her July graduation. “The prospect of publishing a scientific article on a subject I’m passionate about makes all the work completely worth it, it’s amazing seeing it come to fruition,” the 23-year-old said. Needham “fell into apiculture” after joining the Wagga Wagga Bee Keeping Club to learn about the only insect that produces food for human consumption. “I thought it would be a great hobby but it turned into a passion,” she said. “Bees are incredibly fascinating creatures with complex lives. Their world is dictated by smells and seeing ultraviolet; it’s so different from ours.” The NSW Department of Primary Industry supported Needham’s project alongside CSU staff including Veterinary Pathology Lecturer, Andrew Peters, who ensured experiments were correctly designed and the scientific process understood.  “Tara’s research is very significant to the future of this area in agriculture and vet science. Bees are economically and agriculturally valuable, the importance of their health should not be underestimated,” Peters said. Roughly 65 per cent of Australian agricultural production depends on pollination by honey bees, seeing their services valued between $4-6 billion. With more than 3,000 registered beekeepers and over 200,000 hives, NSW is Australia’s largest beekeeping state contributing approximately 40-45 per cent of the national honey crop. “It’s great that young vets are supported by programs like the RAS Foundation Rural Scholarship because it gives them the ability to explore emerging and niche needs within agricultural industries, Australian biosecurity and vet health,” Peters said. RAS Foundation Rural Scholarships assist individuals whose career aspirations benefit rural and regional NSW communities. More than 350 scholarships have been awarded since its inception in 2011 totalling over $1.7 million. Needham was one of 58 scholarship recipients in 2016, which covered her textbooks, apiary equipment and study placement travel costs. “The support of the RAS Foundation has been invaluable,” she said. “I’ve networked with other recipients and was able to dedicate myself to finishing my degree to my full potential without financial stress.” Executive Officer of the RAS Foundation, Kate Ross, said the scholarship re an initiative designed to ensure an increased flow of skilled people to rural and regional NSW communities. “Scholarships support our mission to build strong, sustainable communities by providing vital funding to rural-minded students working towards their educational goals,” Ross said. “We choose students who are passionate about their local communities and have the energy, skills and enthusiasm NSW country areas need to remain sustainable,” Ross said. Applications for the 2018 Rural Scholarships open on 1 August and close 30 September 2017 http://www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation/scholarships-and-grants/ras-rural-scholarships/ Read more

An experience of a lifetime - winning the JB Fairfax Award

27 Jun 2017

There are small choices we make in our day to days lives that can change the course of things to come. Some are as simple as purchasing a latte to get you through the next two hours of your lecture, and others are far more monumental. One of these choices was the decision to apply for the JB Fairfax Award for Rural Journalism. I submitted my application thinking there may not be much of chance of winning the scholarship but at least I’d given it my best shot. It was this small decision that quickly turned into one of the best experiences of my life to date.  As a part of the scholarship, I travelled down to Sydney to participate in the Sydney Royal Easter Show internship program - a fast paced two-week glimpse into the world of media. With a healthy dose of nerves, I braved the city transport and found my way to Sydney Olympic Park, where I would spend the next fortnight working in and amongst the Show. As a third and final year journalism student, the opportunities the internship program offered were unlike any other work placement I could have dreamed of. Not only did the program enable me to complete a whole unit of my degree in just two weeks, it also encouraged me to create networks that will be invaluable for an entry level journalist like myself looking to apply for jobs in the coming year. Meeting John Fairfax was definitely one of the most valuable and defining moments of my time in Sydney. Working with an array of media outlets, from television and radio to print media, I was also able to gain immeasurable experience in the journalism field as well as enhance my writing and organisation skills through mentoring. The Royal Agricultural Society and the Cox Inall staff involved in the program were knowledgeable, patient, friendly and eager to get me involved in every aspect of the job. Each and every day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show brought something new, challenging and exciting, whether it was being a part of a live television broadcast or assisting in a photoshoot. Every morning I was eager to see what the day would bring, what skills I would learn and who I would meet. During my first week of interning, I was lucky enough to be assigned to work with the GWS Giants AFL team and help the team film for their online content. This was definitely a fun night of work, watching the players battle it out on the giant slide before braving the horror house. Hanging out with the team was something I never imagined would be on my job criteria, so I was absolutely stoked to have done it as a part of my internship. Another stand out moment was starring on Sunrise with my fellow intern, Cara who was in Australia as a part of her American study abroad program. This was her claim to Australian fame, and mine I should add, even if we were in the background. But my most memorable experience of the two weeks was definitely assisting the ABC crew film an episode of Australia Wide, a television program I have long adored. I was able to see how an episode was scripted, produced, filmed and presented. On top of this, I was able to meet the wonderful host, Yassmin Abdel-Magied. As a student from the regional town of Singleton, these experiences would never have been available in my hometown which is why the program was so valuable for me. If I hadn’t participated in the program, I would never have been able to gain such a significant level of experience in so many different fields of media at such an early stage in my career. Aside from the professional benefits of the program, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people who share similar aspirations and goals. Through interning I have made life-long friendships with people from all across the state, and even as far as New York City. Having these friends definitely made the experience, and the long train trips, all the more memorable. The whole internship was an experience I will cherish for a long time, and I couldn’t recommend it enough to other university students considering work placement. I give my appreciation and thanks to everyone who played a part in making the JB Fairfax scholarship and Sydney Royal Easter Show internship program possible.  Read more

Budding Viticulturist Hannah McKay Awarded 2017 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship

1 Jun 2017

1 June, 2017 A decision to trade a business career to follow her passion in the Australian wine industry has paid off for Hannah McKay of NSW, with her being awarded the prestigious 2017 Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship. Ms McKay, a part-time Viticulture student studying by distance at Charles Sturt University from her base in Margaret River, Western Australia, will receive $3,500 towards her tertiary studies as well as the opportunity to steward at the 2017 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show this coming July. 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. Employed by iconic winery Vasse Felix, 28 year old Ms McKay has a passion for plants and wine and is focussed on finding ways to combine traditional farming practices, land management techniques and native species in a vineyard setting. “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. The scholarship has encouraged me to further develop my learning in the field and classroom to reveal more sustainable ways of growing wine grapes in Australia,” said Ms McKay. “My wine journey began when I left an office career and started working in vineyards near my family home in the Southern Highlands wine region. I instantly fell in love with the industry and each day I look forward to what I’m going to learn and then implement in the vineyard.” “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. The judging panel was so impressed with the high quality of applications that for the first time in history, a runner up scholarship was awarded. The 2017 runner-up honour has gone to Nicholas Conolly, a Bachelor of Wine Science student at Charles Sturt University. Originally studying local government in Sydney, Mr Conolly’s passion for the wine industry was sparked while on work experience at a winery in Orange. Mr Conolly has since relocated to South Australia where he works for Kirrihill Wines in the Clare Valley. The Sydney Royal Wine Scholarship honours the memory and contribution of Graham Thorp, Chair of the Sydney Royal Wine Committee from 1984 – 1990. 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 two 2017 scholarship recipients have chosen to relocate far from home and undertake distance studies while working in the wine industry shows a real commitment,” Ms Ross said. In 2018 the scholarship will increase to $6,000 for full time study or $3,000 towards part time study. Applications for the 2018 award open on 1 August 2017 and can be completed online through the RASF website http://www.rasnsw.com.au/foundation/scholarships-and-grants/sydney-royal-wine-scholarship/ <Ends> For further information, including high resolution images, please contact: Roger White – Manager, Public Relations M: 0478 092 425 | P: (02) 9704 1453 | E: rwhite@rasnsw.com.au About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS) Foundation: The RAS Foundation is a charitable foundation that encourages educational opportunities and helps build strong and sustainable rural and regional communities through a range of targeted grants and scholarships. Visit www.rasf.org.au for more information on the RAS Foundation. Read more

COMMUNITIES BACK IN THE KITCHEN THANKS TO FOUNDATION

16 Apr 2017

Thousands of people will enjoy cooking demonstrations at the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show but none will be more excited than the town of Boggabri which will receive a cash prize and a full range of state-of-the-art Euromaid appliances used in The Australian Women's Weekly Theatre Kitchen. Read more
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