Indooroopilly State High School’s Riley Guyatt has won the prestigious Tuckwell Scholarship to study at The Australian National University next year.
Riley was one of just 25 Year 12 students from across Australia to be selected from a competitive field of 690 applicants for the scholarship.
The Tuckwell Scholarship Program at The ANU in Canberra is regarded as the most transformational undergraduate scholarship program in Australia.
Valued at more than $125,000, it funds students for up to five years and provides an enrichment program that includes mentoring and skill development. The program has a focus on giving back to Australia and is the only one of its kind that nurtures Scholars to fulfil their broader community ambitions over and above the pursuit of an undergraduate degree.
Riley was among 73 applicants who were selected to an interview weekend at The ANU, where they were evaluated on their academic ability, as well as leadership potential, commitment to giving back, and strength of character.
The 17-year-old is passionate about the environment, and plans to study a Bachelor of Environment and Sustainability at The ANU.
Riley said the application process for the scholarship was both challenging and rewarding.
“The most challenging part had to be the interview weekend, where we had five nine-minute interviews with members of the Tuckwell Scholarship Selection Panel,” Riley said.
“We were asked lots of fascinating questions, ranging from ‘What are the three least useful jobs’ to ‘Do you think we should have a sugar tax?’. ‘What do you think about selfies?’ and “What is 25 times 37?’ (a very intimidating question, especially when asked by Graham Tuckwell himself).
“As well as challenging me, the process made me realise how lucky I am to have had all of the experiences offered to me by both the school and community.
“Above all, I am so grateful for the support I’ve had from my parents, friends, teachers and staff at ISHS in pursuing this amazing opportunity. I’m excited to see where my future leads and I hope that one day I will be able to make the change that Louise and Graham Tuckwell believe in.”
Riley has participated in Plan for the Planet, Optiminds and Readers Cup and mentored younger groups. Outside of school, she has done volunteer work leading Girl Guides and various children’s programs in the community.
Senior Instrumental Music Teacher James Kukulies said Riley had progressed to the role of the school’s lead clarinet player during her time at Indooroopilly SHS.
Mr Kukulies commended Riley’s record of balancing her commitments and working towards goals.
“Riley’s reliability, conduct and personal commitment to having music as an active part of her life have placed her amongst our most impressive students,” he said.
“Her reliable and gentle personality has been ever-present in the school instrumental music program.
“If you had told her younger self that one day she was going to be our clarinet leader, she never would have believed you. This journey she has taken to become one of our leaders is a great example of her character and attributes.”
Founder Louise Tuckwell said the accomplishments, dynamism, and commitment of the Tuckwell Scholars were inspiring for all involved with the program.
“We are thrilled to support another 25 outstanding young people from around the country in coming together to study at ANU and learn from each other,” she said.
“They’ve all worked so hard to get to this point, and we look forward to supporting their bright futures.”
Founder Graham Tuckwell said: “This Scholarship is all about giving smart and talented people the opportunity to thrive so that they, in turn, can make great contributions to others in the future.”
“Recognition of the program has gone from strength to strength since being launched more than seven years ago, but we want to ensure that every school in Australia knows about it so they can help their top students to apply.”
Each Tuckwell Scholar receives financial and other support valued at more than $25,000 a year for the length of their degree programs, for up to five years full-time equivalent.