Prof. Mick Dodson Presents Scholarship Certificates for 2015 (guest speaker Kyol Blakeney)

The Podmore Foundation’s Board proudly announced seven Canberra-based scholarships at the annual Scholarship Presentation Lunch, which was held at the Royal Canberra Golf Club on Sunday 15 March 2015. Scholarships were presented by Professor Mick Dodson, and the special guest speaker was Kyol Blakeney, Podmore’s inaugural scholarship recipient and graduate.

Scholarships Awarded

Larissa, Year 12 at Canberra Girls Grammar School, Warawitcha Scholarship 

Larissa is Vice-Captain of Canberra Girls Grammar School and over past years has Captained her Netball Team to two premierships, represented Australian Capital Territory schools as a member of the Canberra Girls Grammar School team at the National High School Basketball Championships in Melbourne since Year 9 and participated in several Yalari, Rotary and school leadership camps.

In July 2014, Larissa competed in the National Dragon Boat Championships in Brisbane with her school team. From this competition, Larissa was selected as to be a member of the Under 18s Australian Women’s Dragon Boating Team. She will compete at the World Championships in Canada in August after competing again in the Australian National Championships in Adelaide. The Podmore Board has been delighted to fund Larissa’s participation in these national and international events.

Larissa is the ongoing recipient of the Warawitcha scholarship.  ‘Warawitcha’ is an Aboriginal word for “land that almost forms an island in a river” and is the name of its benefactors’  olive farm located on the river in the Araluen Valley, an hour’s drive from Canberra.

Lyric, Year 10 at Canberra Girls Grammar School, Gwen Breen Memorial Scholarship

Lyric is a gifted writer and communicator and was selected by Rotary and the Australian Electoral Commission to participate in the Rotary Young Leaders Camp and National Indigenous Youth Parliament in 2014. After participating in the Yalari Outback Camp in June last year, she then spent two weeks at a University Pathways camp at Melbourne University. Lyric met many interesting people from across the world at this camp, and it opened her eyes to possibilities after school.  Lyric also raised money for the Yalari “Pay It Forward” initiative for a future Yalari Scholarship. She organised a school drama concert last year, with all proceeds going to this initiative.

Lyric is the ongoing recipient of the Gwen Breen Memorial Scholarship.  This scholarship is sponsored by the children, family members and friends of Gwen Breen who was forced through family circumstances during the Depression to leave school at 13 years of age, and though struggling with ongoing mental health issues and making ends meet, made significant sacrifices to give each of her children the opportunity for a good education and encouraged them to do their best and to achieve their full potential.

Mia, Year 10 at Canberra Girls Grammar School, ADFA Graduates Association Scholarship and Professor Mick Dodson AM and Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC Scholarship for Leadership

Mia loves participating in team sport and was voted as the ‘Players’ Player’ by teammates in her soccer team in her first year.  A terrific striker of the ball in field and indoor Soccer, Mia has added basketball to her sporting schedule this year.  In 2014 Mia was  selected to participate in a study tour to the United States with a group of Grammar students studying Drama and Dance.

Mia is the ongoing recipient of the Australian Defence Force Academy Graduates’ Association Scholarship.  This scholarship celebrates a great association between Podmore and ADFA graduates, midshipmen and officer cadets, who raise funds for this scholarship through participation in the City2Surf Run conducted in Sydney in August each year.

This year the Board was unanimous in its decision to award this prestigious scholarship, co-sponsored by two Australians of the Year and two outstanding Australian leaders, to Mia Hodges who was elected as the Year 11 Vice Captain of Robertson House at CGGS for 2015. This position will entitle her to seek election for membership of the Year 12 senior leadership team in 2016.

Since she enrolled at CGGS in Year 7, Mia has done her best and led by example.  She has been a great contributor to her sporting teams over the years.  In a game of soccer late last year Mia was goal keeper and the other team was far superior to her team. Her team lost, but could have lost by much more without Mia saving several goals.  Her team gave her three cheers after the game in acknowledgement of her courage as she had blocked several fast balls, kicked at point blank range, with her body and had the bruises to prove it.

Elanor, Year 9 at Canberra Girls Grammar School, Warawitcha Scholarship

Elanor is an enthusiastic participant in all activities at the school and in the Boarding House. Elanor is an enthusiastic scholar who is achieving impressive results in her studies.  She participates in debating and is a gifted communicator.

Elanor is the recipient of a Warawitcha scholarship.  This is one of two scholarships named ‘Warawitcha’, which is an Aboriginal word meaning “land that almost forms an island in a river.” This is the name of the property owns by the benefactors for this scholarship.

Sarah-Cait, Year 9 at Canberra Girls Grammar School, Charles and Kathleen Pannell Memorial Scholarship

Sarah-Cait is a keen athlete who enjoys cross country running and plays touch Rugby with great enthusiasm. She tries her best in all that she does. She is taking piano lessons and has made great progress.  Sarah-Cait has made a conscious effort to improve her academic results and has put a great deal of work into doing so. Her best effort in French has earned her a place on a language immersion visit to Vanuatu later this year.  The Podmore Board have been pleased to provide funds for Sarah-Cait to participate in this wonderful opportunity.

Sarah-Cait is the ongoing recipient of the Charles and Kathleen Pannell Memorial Scholarship. The late Charles and Kathleen were the parents of Mary Porter AM, the member for Ginninderra, in the ACT Legislative Assembly.  Mary and her husband, Ian, are the benefactors for this scholarship that acknowledges the courage and determination of Charles and Kathleen to seek a better life for themselves and their children by emigrating from England to Australia over half a century ago.

Isabella, Year 9 at Canberra Girls Grammar School, inaugural Brigadier Damian ‘Dolly’ Roche Memorial Scholarship

Isabella  a member of the Nexus Club and the school Film Crew. She plays netball and basketball with great enthusiasm and commitment. Isabella excels at languages and has received double As for Japanese language assessments.  In recognition for her commitment and excellent performance in Japanese, the Board was pleased to fund Isabella to travel to Japan in April this year with a group of students for language immersion.

Isabella is the inaugural recipient of the Brigadier Damian ‘Dolly’ Roche CSC Memorial Scholarship.  On 3rd January 2014, ‘Dolly’ Roche passed away suddenly whilst playing golf with two mates; far too young at 55 years of age and with so much more to offer his nation as the man responsible for the Australian Defence Force’s participation in the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.

Angelina, Year 8 at Canberra Girls Grammar School, CDSS Class of 2014 Commemorative Scholarship

Angelina is a keen competitive swimmer, who qualified to compete in Sydney at the Speedo Carnival in 2014. Angelina plays water-polo at the Australian Institute of Sport on Friday nights and referees and plays netball on Saturdays. She plays water-polo at the Australian Institute of Sport and last year took up rowing and now competes as a solo rower. Angie achieved excellent results in Physical Education in 2014 and is working towards improving her other subjects.

Angelina was the inaugural recipient of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies (CDSS) Class of 2014 Commemorative Scholarship.  CDSS is the Australian Defence College’s senior professional development course for Navy Captains, Army Colonels and Air Force Group Captains from both Australian and overseas defence forces, who are destined to be the admirals, generals and air marshals of the future.  Members of the class are expressing their gratitude for their good education in good company by funding Angelina’s Podmore scholarship. They are Returning Opportunity and paying it forward.   The Class is committed to funding Angelina’s Podmore scholarship annually as she completes her secondary education.


Guest Speaker: Kyol Blakeney

The Podmore Foundation was honoured to present its inaugural scholarship recipient and graduate, Kyol Blakeney as the guest speaker for the Scholarship Presentation Lunch. Kyol discussed his experiences as a Podmore scholarship recipient at Scots College, and talked about his involvement fighting for Indigenous rights as the President of the SRC at Sydney University. Kyol was passionate and provided a unique perspective on this important matter. A big thank you to Kyol for sharing his experiences with us!