Growing up, Emma Beadle moved around rural Victoria to follow her mum’s shifting roles as director of nursing and CEO at various hospitals. But, despite the regular changes of scenery, she noticed that one thing remained the same wherever she went: regional residents like her were not getting the same level of healthcare as their city-dwelling peers. Helping address this imbalance is what inspired Emma to study a Bachelor of Health Science at Swinburne.
“I’m driven by the immense gap in access to clinical services in rural and regional Australia, especially access to mental health services, or lack thereof, that has been greatly exposed during the current pandemic,” says Emma.
“Majoring in Psychology and Psychophysiology, I am constantly intrigued by the effects of the environment on the human psyche. But, at the end of the day, I really just enjoy helping people.”
Emma is one of three regional Victorian students who have been supported to study at Swinburne by Bendigo Bank Community Bank Scholarships from their local branch, working to change the world for the better across diverse fields from health to game design.
Screen dreams to reality
Taylor Johnson was always passionate about gender and racial equality and LGBTQIA+ issues but was unsure about how to spark change. Following her passion for screenwriting, she decided to study Film and Television at Swinburne and quickly realised she could be a part of creating a more inclusive, supportive and progressive culture.
“The lack of diversity and representation in the film industry is something that still shocks me, so my long-term goal is to create and direct films and television shows that give screen time to those who don’t get enough of it,” Taylor says.
“By teaching me how to make films and survive within an intense and fast-changing industry, Swinburne is not only providing me with the means to give life to my passions, but also providing connections to people who share the same dream.”
Before COVID-19 hit, Taylor’s scholarship helped cover the costs of the four-hour round trip to campus from her home on the Mornington Peninsula. But as COVID-19 restrictions made accessing university filming equipment challenging, she found new ways of supporting her success.
“Thanks to the scholarship I was able to purchase entry-level equipment, such as a tripod, microphone and editing software, that allowed me to make the best of my lockdown by still making movies and learning,” she says.
Like most kids, Jackson Gray always loved video games, but only recently did he see it as a potential career path. After getting hands-on experience during a Swinburne Open Day, he chose a double bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (Game Development) and Games and Interactivity.
However, the field can often be expensive, with large one-off payments required for software licencing or upgrading computer hardware to handle the demands of development.
His Community Bank scholarship has helped him cover those costs as well as the expense of travelling to campus from his home in the Yarra Ranges.
“The scholarship has made it that much easier to make use of the opportunities Swinburne can provide, most notably our capstone project to take a game we made to PAX [Melbourne-based games expo] and network with professionals there. Even not needing to worry about the simple things such as daily Myki fees was a surprising relief.”
The students now have their sights firmly set on the future. Jackson is looking to secure a position at a Melbourne games studio with an eye on eventually working in Japan, home of Nintendo. Emma is getting ready for placements and considering further study in psychiatry. And Taylor is hoping to eventually travel internationally to explore countries with film industries that offer alternatives to traditional Hollywood narratives, like South Korea and Japan.
All three students are united in encouraging other students to see what opportunities exist in their area.
“I really wish more students coming from rural areas were aware of the scholarships,” says Emma. “I can’t stress enough how it has supported me in forming a foundation for my future.”
In 2019, Swinburne partnered with Bendigo Bank to launch the Community Bank at Swinburne. The partnership provides a range of opportunities and reinvests profits back into the Swinburne community. Find out more about our partnership and scholarship opportunities.