A group of local businesses have partnered with La Trobe University to offer students scholarships to study Agribusiness in Mildura.
Wakefield’s Transport, Nangiloc-Colignan Farms and Mildura Fruit Company have donated $75,000 to La Trobe University to support students studying Agribusiness at the Mildura Campus.
Successful recipients of the scholarships will receive $5,000 per year for the three years of their degree to support their studies in Agribusiness. In addition to this, students will be guaranteed a work placement opportunity within one of the donor organisations. This learning experience will allow them to put theory into practice, boosting their employability while they are studying.
The funds were raised from the annual charity golf day the three organisations run to raise money for Chances for Children. When La Trobe University launched their Agribusiness degree in 2016 the donors felt the time was pertinent to put the funds towards supporting local people. All three donor businesses have previously struggled to find staff and with the industry in such a burgeoning phase, qualified agribusiness professionals are in high demand.
Ferdi Bergiman, from Mildura Fruit Company, spoke on behalf of the three organisations involved and said they’re all passionate about building the next generation of agribusiness professionals.
‘There is a real need for training in this industry. We know supporting local people to study locally will give us a better chance at keeping them here to work. The agricultural industry is experiencing a real boom and the career opportunities are very exciting in this region for a young person looking to start their career, or perhaps a motivated individual looking for a career change. The scholarships are open to people from all ages, they must be Australian citizens and have a desire to pursue a career in agribusiness,’ Mr Bergiman said.
Dr Deb Neal, Head of Campus, said having the support of local industry meant La Trobe could offer students a real world insight into the agricultural industry.
‘A key feature of the course is the opportunity for students to participate is a state wide tour of regional Victorian agribusiness organisations. This will give students a unique insight into the different issues faces by each industry.
‘The scholarships are a wonderful endorsement by local industry of our course and we know our students will benefit greatly from the financial support during their studies.
‘We know that supporting local people to study locally pays off, as 82% of our graduates are employed in our community. We hope to continue this kind of success within the local agricultural industry,’ Dr Neal says.
The Chances for Children and Mallee Family Care scholarships applications are now open through the La Trobe University website and close on January 30 2018. To be eligible, students must commence study from 2018, be an Australian citizen and come from a regional background.
Source: La Trobe University