Dr Geoff Nette (left), Taylah Gerloff and former Executive Dean of Science Professor Stephen Walker following Taylah’s recent UQ’s graduation.

The University of Queensland is celebrating the first graduate of an Indigenous Science Scholarship.

Taylah Gerloff was awarded the Indigenous Science Scholarship in 2014 and has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Marine Biology.

The Indigenous Science Scholarship was established to assist Indigenous students with the costs of tuition, study supplies, accommodation and basic living expenses while studying science at UQ.

The scholarship, which provides up to $20,000 per study year in financial support, is funded by a generous philanthropic contribution from Independent Marine Biochemistry Research Pty Ltd (IMBCR) and matches support from UQ’s Faculty of Science.

After originally presenting Taylah with the scholarship at a ceremony in 2014, the Director of IMBCR Dr Geoff Nette, said he was overwhelmed with joy and pride at Taylah’s achievements.

“I am absolutely enthralled; this is a manifestation of the immediate influence that philanthropy can have and I can see the impact in front of me,” he said.

“People talk about huge sums of money, but we’ve been able to achieve so much here, for Taylah, with a relatively small amount.”

Taylah said the scholarship had not only supported her dreams of becoming a marine biologist but given her the confidence to pursue further study.

“I cannot thank UQ, Geoff and IMBCR enough for supporting me in pursuing my education,” she said.

“This scholarship has not only helped me with the costs of study and travel to university, but has enabled me to partake in research and work activities which have provided me with invaluable experience in my field.

“Because of this scholarship I was able to undertake work at Moreton Bay Research Centre, which was an amazing experience.”

The Indigenous Science Scholarship was developed with significant input from the Quandamooka people, the traditional owners of North Stradbroke Island, and is part of the University’s commitment to increasing the numbers of Indigenous students participating in tertiary education.

Taylah now plans to gain further experience in her field before undertaking her Honours year in late 2017.

“I am currently interested in work or volunteering opportunities, particularly where I am able to work with invertebrates,” she said.

Both the IMBR and the UQ Faculty of Science have pledged to continue their support for the Indigenous Science Scholarship for at least another three years.

Anyone wishing to support Science scholarships with philanthropic gifts so future students like Taylah can achieve their dreams can contact UQ Science Faculty Philanthropy Manager Julia Keith at j.keith2@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3346 3143.

Media: Julie Baglot, j.baglot@uq.edu.au or 0411 162 577.

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