The scholarship was announced today by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, at Government House.
Hannah said although she was disappointed not to receive the scholarship, the experience has cemented her ambition to achieve better outcomes for young people, particularly those treated unfairly by institutions and society.
“While growing up in Melbourne I saw and personally experienced extreme disadvantage. I witnessed first-hand what it means to be excluded from education, healthcare and legal representation,” Hannah said.
“I believe that young people need strong community leaders in their lives, who can advocate on their behalf, and provide access to high-quality legal support, representation and guidance.
“I’d like to dedicate my career to becoming that person, giving children from disadvantaged backgrounds a better future,” Hannah said.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO congratulated Hannah on her remarkable achievement.
“Being selected as a finalist for this prestigious and highly competitive scholarship is something to be extremely proud of,” Professor Dewar said.
“It recognises that Hannah is not only an exceptional student, she is dedicated to building a better world – and that aligns strongly with our ethos as a University too.”
Hannah will graduate from La Trobe this year with a Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Arts, after being the first student at The Pavilion School to complete the Victorian Certificate of Education.
The Pavilion School is a school in Melbourne’s north for students who have been disengaged or excluded from mainstream education.
Hannah’s exceptional community involvement, mentoring students at The Pavilion School, earned her early enrolment at La Trobe through the University’s Aspire Program.
She achieved top marks throughout her La Trobe studies, and won prestigious awards – including the Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholarship in 2019, and a mentorship with former Prime Minister, The Hon Julia Gillard AC.
Hannah also worked as a youth outreach worker at Banyule Council, and helped plan and develop programs at La Trobe University, supporting secondary school students from disadvantaged areas to attend university.
Each year, nine Rhodes Scholarships are available for outstanding Australians to study at the University of Oxford. One Rhodes Scholarship is offered in each of the states (NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania), and three for Australia at large.
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