InspirED 2023 honours our graduating Fogarty UWA Scholars
Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Highlights from the InspirED 2023 event by the Fogarty Foundation
On 26 October 2023, the Fogarty Foundation’s annual InspirED event took place. As always, it was a remarkable occasion as it provided a wonderful showcase of the achievements and potential of the University of Western Australia (UWA) Fogarty Scholars. It featured presentations and discussions on a wide array of topics, including entrepreneurial ventures, social impact initiatives, and inspiring personal journeys. The event also highlighted the Foundation’s commitment to nurturing young talent by empowering Scholars to reach their full potential and so make a positive impact on our society.
A major highlight at the InspirED event was hearing the insights of the UWA Fogarty Scholars. These talented young minds seized their Scholarships as a launchpad for personal and academic growth, with the event providing a platform for them to showcase their accomplishments. From Caleb McKenna who has been awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship for Western Australia in 2024; to Nicholas Ellison and Lydia Almeida, new medical graduates who aspire to work in regional, rural and remote medicine; and Luke Osborne whose overseas internships helped him find his passion in mathematical finance and financial technology. The talented Emily Roberts and Racheline Tantular round out our six graduates, Emily with her Master of Professional Engineering (Mech Eng) and Racheline with a Bachelor of Philosophy in Music and Asian Studies.
A compelling narrative was skillfully crafted throughout the evening by Caleb Adams, the event’s MC and Vice President of the Fogarty Scholars Association. In his address to the audience, he urged us to reflect on the idea that each person carries their own unique story, which collectively weaves into the broader narrative of our shared history and culture. He left the audience with a thought-provoking question to ponder throughout the evening: “What kind of legacy do you aspire to leave behind?”
Attendees were inspired by keynote speaker Kyle Hoath, who shared his journey from medicine to entrepreneurship. He began by showcasing the positive impact of his project, Oqea, in the field of mental health. Kyle stressed the importance of teamwork and having a support system. When reflecting on legacy in light of Caleb’s question, Kyle concluded that legacies take time to build, and achievements often unfold in surprising ways.
Guests were also fortunate to connect virtually with Lachie McDonald, a Scholar who is now pursuing postgraduate studies at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, as part of a special scholarship opportunity uniquely for UWA Fogarty Scholars. Lachie shared his insightful reflections on his journey as a Fogarty Scholar, emphasising the critical importance of developing digital skills for the future and driving progress in artificial intelligence. He delved into the philosophical underpinnings of AI which served as a compelling reminder to the audience that the intelligence of digital systems is fundamentally shaped by real-world actions and decisions. Lachie’s message concluded with a resounding call to action, highlighting the urgency of our role as active participants in shaping the future. Here again we were reminded of Caleb’s question; “What kind of legacy do you aspire to leave behind?”.
In a special moment during the event, the Jeremy Cheang Award was presented to Shantelle Jeyakumar for her exceptional achievements and her commitment to making a positive impact on her community. Shantelle won the award for her innovative project centered on an educational platform that integrates dental health, women’s health, and financial literacy. What makes this recognition even more special is that Shantelle will receive mentorship from Dr. Marcus Tan, a leading expert in the field. Shantelle’s work steps toward one legacy that she may leave behind; by leveraging emerging digital tools to create equality of information and access.
The UWA Fogarty Scholars program is one of the Foundation’s flagship programs. This program has been instrumental in identifying, supporting, and nurturing exceptional students from various fields. With 10 selected each year and an alumni of over 120 Scholars, this group represents a diverse range of talents, ambitions, and backgrounds, and an inspiring group to follow. To learn more about our Scholars and alumni, visit them here.