By Past District Governor Keith Ryall, Chair 2017-20 Post Graduate Global Grant Scholarships

Through Global Grants, Rotarians support future leaders in fields related to our seven areas of focus:

  • Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water and sanitation
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Economic and community development
  • Supporting the environment

Global Grant scholarships fund graduate-level coursework or research for one to four academic years. A key feature of Global Grants is the partnership between the district or club in the study location (host sponsor) and the district or club in the scholar’s home country (international sponsor). There is no cost to a club nominating a graduate for these scholarships—they are funded entirely by the Rotary Foundation.

Applications are invited each year from persons normally resident in Victoria and must be made through a Victorian Rotary club.

The prestigious Global Grant Scholarships are valued at USD 30,000 each. When selecting suitable scholars our interview panel look for:

  • Excellent leadership skills and potential
  • A proven record of success in his or her academic field or vocation
  • A commitment to community service
  • Well-defined and realistic goals
  • Concrete ideas for advancing within his or her chosen field
  • Sincerity about maintaining a lifelong relationship with Rotary after the scholarship period.

This year, District 9800 interviews took place on 15th April. In a first for our district they were conducted via zoom. The successful candidates were:

  • Katherine (Kat) Oborne, sponsored by Rotary Melbourne, who plans to complete an Executive Master of Public Administration at Syracuse University in New York State. Her Area of Focus will be Basic Education and Literacy
  • Dr Elina Ziukelis, sponsored by Rotary Carlton, who plans to complete a Master of Science in Clinical and Therapeutic Neuroscience at Oxford University in England. Her area of Focus will be Disease Prevention and Treatment

Both Kat and Elina have received multiple offers from universities in the USA and the UK, a testament to the quality of their applications.

Kat is currently a Senior Consultant-Strategy with the Pinnacle Group. Elina is a medical registrar at St Vincent’s Hospital where she is undergoing her physician training to become a neurologist. Both have achieved outstanding academic results in their university studies to date: Kat in Arts/Law at the University of Adelaide; Elina in Science (Neuroscience major) at the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at Deakin University.

The District 9800 Global Grant Scholarships are designed to enhance the profiles and careers of our brightest and best graduates and they affirm the underlying strength of graduates from Australian universities. This is what our 2020 applicants had to say when asked what receiving the Rotary Scholarship means to them:

Kat: “I am so grateful to be one of the recipients of the Rotary GG Scholarship. This funding has greatly reduced my financial burden and will enable me to continue to build a career through which I can create positive change for young people. I want to enable young people, particularly those who experience disadvantage, to live their best lives through improving educational opportunities and outcomes. This grant allows me to dedicate my focus to my studies and to take all the opportunities that a year in the US presents.”

Elina: “I am tremendously grateful for both the opportunities this Scholarship unlocks and the confidence it shows in my leadership potential. My gratitude adds further impetus to my commitment to the course of study. It strengthens my resolve to become capable of rigorous and transformative research. I feel empowered to realize my full potential. I hope to honor the support of Rotary by shaping a career with enduring and global impact.”

Congratulations to Kat and Elina on being awarded these valuable post-graduate scholarships.