King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) recently celebrated the ten recipients of its 2016 Aspire Awards, a national scholarship program designed to help young Australians pursue their tertiary ambitions.
The program, which was originally launched in 2011 to celebrate 10 years of partnership with The Smith Family, was extended for the first time in 2016 to specifically recognise Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students.
Open to Year 11 students on The Smith Family's Learning for Life program, the award consists of a $9,000 scholarship for each student apportioned over three years to assist with the cost of tertiary education. Furthermore, the program includes mentoring by a KWM staff member who will guide and support the winners as they transition into tertiary studies.
Chair of the KWM in the Community Board, Chris Wheeler, said as part of our firm's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), we expanded the award program in 2016 with the intention of supporting at least one talented Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student. The quality of applications was so high however, that we were able to identify five students for the RAP Aspire Award (one in each of KWM's Australian centres).
"We congratulate all of our 2016 winners and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to pursue their goals and inspire others."
The students, their family and friends recently attended ceremonies across KWM's Australian offices, providing an opportunity to meet their KWM mentors, current Aspire scholars and alumni, and representatives from The Smith Family.