In Summary

  • The first cohort of Welcome Scholarship recipients is graduating, including Amrita Kharel who has earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours)
  • Welcome Scholarships were introduced in 2017 to provide tertiary education to refugees and people seeking asylum
  • Amrita has secured a graduate position at the Australasian construction company, CPB Contractors, and is on track to become the first female engineer in her family

Amrita Kharel’s passion for learning is admirable.

The STEM student has excelled in her studies and will soon graduate with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours). 

She hopes to apply her knowledge to industry and eventually manage major infrastructure projects, becoming the first female engineer in her family.

Amrita was also one of the first students to receive a Swinburne Welcome Scholarship in 2017. These scholarships help refugees and people seeking asylum access tertiary education.

New horizons

Amrita arrived in Australia from Nepal with her family in 2006.

After completing high school, she decided to pursue a degree in civil engineering and made Swinburne her top choice.

“I chose Swinburne for its reputation as a technical-focused university, with advanced facilities and practical subjects. I knew it would provide me with a global and quality education in the field of civil engineering.”

Along the way, Amrita has averaged high distinctions in her assignments and maintained a high GPA.

“If there is something to know about me, it is that I work hard. I will sit down and just focus on the problems in front of me, even if they take hours to finish,” she says.

“I am lucky to have great support from my peers and the teaching staff. Everyone is welcoming, and it is wonderful to learn with such an engaged cohort.”

Recognising hard work

Amrita is one of 19 Swinburne Welcome Scholarship recipients, the first three of whom will graduate this year. All scholarship recipients were selected because of their contribution to our community and their demonstrated leadership potential.

Amrita has also been acknowledged as a Swinburne Emerging Leader – a program which recognises activities including campus participation, career development, community engagement and research.

Amrita Kharel receives Emerging Leader awardAmrita received her award for seven out of eight leadership categories.

Amrita’s volunteering as a student learning assistant, providing one-on-one support to other engineering students, also contributed to her academic and personal development.

Transferring skills to industry practice

Amrita has been working in an undergraduate role with CPB Contractors and secured a graduate engineer position for 2020.

The Australasian construction company is known for its work on major infrastructure projects, including upgrades to airports, freeways, railways and buildings across both Australia and New Zealand.

 “My interest is to start with road projects, as I am currently getting exposure through my undergraduate role, and then rotate into other engineering areas,” she says.

Where to next?

Amrita says she wants to inspire other young women to pursue STEM studies and is excited about what the future may hold.

“Studying civil engineering was a dream of mine and I am overjoyed it has become a reality through Swinburne,” she says.

“I am thankful for the opportunities and I really hope it continues for others like me, who are passionate in their career vision. Thank you to Swinburne for believing in me.”