For University of Wollongong conservation biology student Charlie Gluskie, receiving a $30,000 scholarship has given him the opportunity to "focus wholeheartedly" on his studies.
The aspiring researcher was the 2020 recipient of the Holt Estate Environmental Science Scholarship, a bursary for students studying an environmentally focused science degree.
Now, scholarship applications are open for this year, with one available for a first-year student and another for someone doing honours.
Students who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, from Sutherland Shire or facing challenges are especially encouraged to apply, although it is open to all eligible applicants.
Mr Gluskie, who hailed from Woolooware in Sutherland Shire, said he spent a lot of time growing up out in the bush and enjoying the natural environment.
From this, he said, he had a natural inclination to study conservation biology and protect the environment for others to enjoy.
Mr Gluskie would like to pursue a career in research, but said he would enjoy any job that allowed him to work out in the bush.
He chose the University of Wollongong for his studies because there were not too many other institutions in the Sydney area that offered courses specifically focused on conservation, plus access to enterprises like the Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions was going to be beneficial.
Winning the Holt Estate Environmental Science Scholarship has afforded him extra time to focus on his studies, where he might have otherwise had to spend extra time at work to earn money.
Mr Gluskie said the scholarship ensured he had access to equipment and textbooks, and allowed him to go on all field trips that benefited his studies.
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Because of the scholarship, he said, he knew he was going to get 100 per cent out of his course.
The Holt Estate Environmental Science Scholarship provides a student with $10,000 each year, for three years of their degree.
Mr Gluskie encouraged students to apply for this and other scholarships, saying the university had plenty of great ones on offer.
"You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain," Mr Gluskie said.
He said he was really grateful to have received the scholarship, and thankful to company the Holt Estate 1861 for providing it.
"We want to make sure that people like Charlie, with his passion for the environment, have every opportunity to make a difference," Holt Estate 1861 chief executive officer Duncan McComb said.
For more information or to apply for the scholarship, prospective students should visit the University of Wollongong website.
Applications close on March 21.
The story How a scholarship gave UOW student space to pursue his passion first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.