Gunning’s Elysia Mackay has been awarded a 2021 Yass Country Education Foundation scholarship.

The scholarship, which is sponsored by SELX, will enable Elysia to give her studies in agricultural science at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga her full attention.

“Well, it gives me financial relief, and I’m now able to just solely focus on study instead of having to worry about accommodation and my textbooks and all that.”

“It’s a reimbursement scholarship, and it just provides that opportunity of financial ease, and I’m really grateful to have it, to tell the truth,” she said.

Elysia graduated from Yass High School at the end of 2019 and said it was the advice of her careers counsellor that led her to apply for the scholarship.

“I found out through Yass High School that the Country Education Foundation had a scholarship available for tertiary students,”

In the first semester of her second year of study, Elysia aspires to a career in agronomy and hopes to return to help her hometown of Gunning.

“I hope to do an agronomy based major, and that will hopefully mean I can become a qualified agronomist and come back to my hometown and help out.”

“I want to help sort out salinity in areas such as Gunning and being able to properly manage and be more sustainable in agricultural practices.”

“That’s what I want to help in Gunning because there’s a lot of salinity issues,” she said.

Elysia is inspired by the women leaders in her industry and hopes to one day be a leader in her own right.

“I feel like women as we move forward are able to see more potential from a different perspective, and we’re able to have more input into the business side of things.”

“Having leaders in our industry that are women encourages other young women to move forward into our industry,” she said.

When asked who was important in the process of her earning the scholarship, Elysia had a lot of people to thank.

“I’d obviously love to thank SELX, Kelly Dowling (a major wool grower in Gunning), my family for pushing me to do my best at whatever I wanted to do and the Gunning community for getting behind me,” she said.

We at the Yass Valley Times would like to congratulate Elysia on her achievement and wish her all the best as she completes her studies.

Max O’Driscoll