Tom's story

Tom - Monash ScholarWhen Tom told his mum he’d received a Monash scholarship, she burst into tears.

Tom is the first in his family to study at university. When he told his mum he’d received a Monash Achieving Potential Scholarship, she burst into tears of gratitude. He describes this as the moment he finally believed he could achieve anything.

Tom’s family heritage is Latjilatji, and he was raised in Apollo Bay on Gadubanud country. Nobody in his family has attended university, and growing up in rural Victoria as one of five children in his family, finances were often tight. Tom had always aspired to a university education, but knew that this would be a significant challenge.

At Monash, we believe that every student deserves a chance to pursue a higher education, regardless of background. Achieving Potential scholarships offer academically bright students facing barriers to education the chance to reach their full potential.

While most of Tom’s school friends pursued trades, Tom was determined to do something different, firm in his goal of attending university, and pursuing a Bachelor of Business.

Tom took a gap year to work as a barista and save for university, and is still working 30 hours a week to support himself. The money Tom receives through his scholarship helps him to manage the cost of rent and study expenses. He jokes, “I don’t have to eat dried noodles for every meal.”

Describing his work ethic as “all gas and no brakes” he is driven to overcome adversity. Thanks to the generosity of alumni and donors who supported the scholarship, he’s now on track to complete his degree and fulfil his dream of graduating with a business degree.