Celebrating our scholars – past and present

Every August we hold our annual ABCN Foundation Leadership Summit and formal dinner. Always an event to look forward to, it’s an opportunity to acknowledge our most recent cohort of scholars in their first year of the Accelerate Scholarship Program.

Leadership summit

This year’s dinner was kindly hosted by PwC at their new offices in Barangaroo, Sydney – and with 21 new scholars, the atmosphere in the room was buzzing. Jessica Szakacs spoke on behalf of all the 2016 scholars and completely won over the crowd when she compared receiving a scholarship to winning an Oscar. She then went on to say ‘winning the scholarship alone had a huge impact on my life, but little did I know the best was yet to come.’

PwC have proudly supported the Foundation since its inception. As host of the evening, CEO Luke Sayers reminded us all in his address that the dinner is not only a celebration, but also a vital networking opportunity for the scholars and a chance for the Board and Council and representatives from ABCN’s member network to meet the impressive young people they are supporting.

This year’s cohort of scholars represents our highest number yet, bringing the total number of scholarship recipients to 62 since we began. We’ve come a long way – and it’s hard to believe the initial idea for the Foundation was borne only seven years ago, inspired by the KPMG and ABCN Doug Jukes Memorial Scholarship. KPMG continue to be one of our strongest supporters and hosted the first day of the Leadership Summit with sessions facilitated by leadership and performance expert Craig Griffin.

The winner of the inaugural KPMG and ABCN Doug Jukes Memorial Scholarship in 2010 was Jennifer Truong from Cabramatta High School. Over the years we’ve kept in touch with both Jennifer and her mentor, Carolyn Ralph from KPMG. Despite the original mentoring commitment of three-years, the two are still in constant contact almost eight years later and we were thrilled to hear recently that Jennifer graduated from the University of NSW with a Bachelor of Science/Education, majoring in mathematics. Naturally, Carolyn was there to celebrate Jennifer’s achievement with her and we are equally as proud.

Carolyn and Jennifer will continue their relationship, turning their conversations to Jennifer’s role as a permanent mathematics teacher at Sarah Redfern High School. As Sarah Redfern is one of ABCN’s longest standing school partners, Jennifer may just be shaping the next cohort of scholarship recipients!

From all of us at ABCN, congratulations to Jennifer and all of our 2016 scholars.

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