Western Power has awarded its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship to a university student determined to role model how further education can benefit the South West region Noongar people.
Joanne Hill is Western Power’s worthy 2022 recipient, who will complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) part-time at Edith Cowan University (ECU), which she is undertaking part-time while working full-time in the Bunbury region.
The proud Noongar and Ngadju woman said she was “over the moon” upon hearing she had received the Western Power ATSIS scholarship.
“Having a scholarship awarded by Western Power gives me an opportunity to go into a state-wide organisation that is going through change and explore how I can be part of that change and add my value,” Mrs Hill said.
“We don’t have many Noongar people in the South West region who have an MBA, which is why I am determined to follow in my parents’ footsteps and the legacy they left behind by supporting the whole community, creating that voice, and informing people of the great opportunities they have at hand.”
ECU Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Chapman CBE presented Mrs Hill with her grant at a scholarship ceremony held in ECU’s Council Chambers on 12 October 2022. Western Power’s Organisational Capability Manager Mas Bianchi was in attendance to support Mrs Hill, adamant that the scholarship is a prime example of the corporation’s Indigenous engagement endeavours.
Mrs Hill will receive $5000 (prorated for part-time study) per semester for the duration of the course up to four years. As a scholar, she will be eligible for work placements and other relevant support offered by Western Power. The total value of the scholarship is up to $40,000.
Having held positions with South West Gateway Alliance, Indigenous Professional Services, Marrak Holdings, and WA Police & Community Youth Centres and qualified with a Bachelor of Business - HRM & Management, Mrs Hill is projected to complete her MBA in 2024.
“Thank you to Western Power for the opportunity; it does make a significant difference to myself financially in being able to exert extra effort because I now have a strong responsibility to Western Power,” she expressed.
“I hope to get into the organisation during the summer break to look at what it does and how I can add some value into the organisation, particularly in the region down in the Bunbury branch.”