Jennifer Kerr (2017), CAS Hawker Scholarship winner
As Radford’s 2017 graduates scatter across the country and the globe, good news often filters back. It’s gratifying when the news affirms students’ efforts during the grueling endurance event that is Year 12. Jennifer Kerr’s recent award of the prestigious 2018 CAS Hawker Scholarship confirms that a well-rounded approach to senior study is the key to post-secondary success. Jennifer balanced work and leisure, putting in and giving back, and her results reflect her commitment.
The CAS Hawker Scholarship was established to perpetuate the memory of the scholar, soldier, pastoralist and statesman Charles Allan Seymour Hawker. Each three-year residential scholarship is valued at up to $50,000. As one of the four recipients, Jennifer will spend the next three years living at Burgmann College and studying at the ANU. It is with great delight and pride that Radford celebrates Jennifer’s success. Below, Jennifer reflects on her Y12 journey and the future she will be working towards while at university.
How have you spent the summer?
After graduating Year 12, I spent most of the summer working selling school uniforms (the irony). I also spent time having fun and relaxing with my friends and family. We went to Lord Howe Island, enjoying snorkelling, bushwalking and cycling. I visited Sydney and Adelaide for a couple of days for the Scholarship interview. I completed my first aquathon, brushed up on my cooking skills and went on lots of picnics.
Have you always been drawn to the humanities as a field of study?
Yes, for most of high school I’ve had a keen interest in government policy, social issues and history. The humanities teach us to think critically and logically with subjective and imperfect information. While my main passions lie in this area of studies, I have also been interested in science. I really enjoyed learning STEM subjects at Radford, and I considered doing science at uni.
Do you have an ultimate career goal?
I would like to work either in politics directly or in the public service. Working in departments such as Foreign Affairs and Trade or Prime Minister and Cabinet would be amazing.
Do you believe that your involvement in different aspects of College life enhanced your experience and contributed to your success?
Definitely, it’s really important to maintain a balance of academics and co-curricular. Sport and service provided a much-needed break from studying throughout Year 12, both being great stress relievers. Many highlights of my time at Radford come from service and sport. Opportunities such as the l’Arche disco and OzHarvest are fantastic ways to get involved in the community and are really enjoyable. The G Trip was truly an eye-opening experience that has inspired me to, either directly or indirectly, come back and work with the communities we visited. The service activities I undertook at Radford influenced my desire to engage in policy reform as a future career.
In what way will the CAS Hawker Scholarship benefit your tertiary studies?
The scholarship will be of vast benefit in supporting my tertiary studies. It has inspired me to look for ways to participate and contribute to the local community and Australia following in the footsteps of Charles Hawker. The scholarship enables me to live on campus at ANU, allowing me to be more involved with the university and college community. My college also has many third-year and post-graduate students that can provide academic mentoring and support. More broadly the scholarship assists me with networking and working towards further opportunities in the future.
Is travel a part of your plans during the next few years?
A big part of the next few years for me will be working and saving to go overseas. I hope to backpack across Western Europe, and I would also love to go to Sri Lanka.
What clubs and societies are you interested in joining at university?
I am planning on building on the co-curricular I did at Radford. However, I am hoping to broaden my horizons by trying new activities. I regret not trying more new sports at Radford and going out of my comfort zone. I’m going to use my opportunities at uni to do this. I now live at Burgmann College and will be participating in lots of the college sports teams, ideally, road running relay, basketball, AFL, Inward Bound and tennis. I am also hoping to really get involved with the wider ANU community with plans to join the snowsports, mountaineering, swimming, and tennis teams. Outside of sport I plan on also joining the International Relations Society, the Politics, Philosophy and Economics Society, and the Volunteering Society.