WITH a little help from above, women throughout the region are being helped along in their professional careers courtesy of the late Jan Cathcart.
Mrs Cathcart worked in the Leeton and MIA rice industry for 43 years before she passed away, but for eight years now her memory has been living on in a scholarship named in her honour.
Applications for the 2022 scholarship are now open, successful recipients receiving up to $30,000 for tertiary study, along with significant work opportunities for work experience and employment placement in the rice sector.
Leeton's Charlie Reilly, who has had an interesting start to her university life thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, was the 2021 recipient of the scholarship.
She said it was an honour to complete her degree with the helping hand of the late Ms Cathcart.
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Miss Reilly is studying a Bachelor of Law at Notre Dame University and said the scholarship was providing invaluable support in terms of finance and networks.
"By growing up in a rural community with professional parents, I have seen firsthand how financial and legal skills are crucial for agribusiness," she said.
"I am passionate about combining my skills and developing a career in agriculture.
"I have dedicated myself to working in different Riverina agricultural sectors to broaden my knowledge, and this cemented my love for the industry. With the help of the Jan Cathcart Scholarship, I plan to secure a commercial or corporate role within the rice industry once I finish my degree."
The scholarship is open to female SunRice shareholders, growers and employees and their extended families.
Women from across the rice industry's networks are also encouraged to apply, or to nominate other eligible women who would benefit from the program.
Eligible students include those currently studying at university or new students attending their first year of tertiary studies in 2022.
Ally Morona was the 2020 winner and is currently completing her final year of Bachelor of Science (Honours) and has been offered a short-term position with CopRice as a sales representative for Northern NSW during the university holidays.
Miss Morona has worked closely with the ag retail team and nutritionists and said the opportunity provided her with a wealth of knowledge and support.
"With the help of the Jan Cathcart Scholarship, I look forward to contributing to the rice industry through combining my ongoing interests in animal health/nutrition and agriculture," she said.
"I also look forward to working in, and giving back to, rural communities."
Applications close on October 15 and the winner will be announced early next year.
The application form and more information can be found at https://careers.sunrice.com.au/scholarships/.
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