Destination Australia Scholarships awarded to 15 DiGS students in 2020

The Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences was happy to offer selected 2020 Diploma in General Studies (DiGS) students a Destination Australia Scholarship valued at $15,000 per year.

The Destination Australia Program was established in March 2019 to attract and support students to study in regional Australia, to grow and develop regional Australian tertiary education providers and to offer students a high-quality learning experience in regional environments.

In 2020, the Faculty offered 15 Destination Australia scholarships to students in DiGS – a one-year, full-time program based at Dookie campus that acts as a pathway into University of Melbourne degrees in agriculture, biomedicine, commerce, design and science.

These scholarships provided students with the opportunity to experience exceptional study programs in a regional area that is crucial to the agricultural production and development of Victoria and Australia.

Alexander Lovel, a 2020 DiGS student, says the scholarship made all the difference in making sure he had the opportunity to begin his tertiary education.

Mehtaab Singh
Alex Lovel says the online experience he’s had in DiGS has made him confident about his future.

“If I hadn't received the Destination Australia Scholarship I wouldn't be studying this year. It means I haven't had to take a gap year and save up for University,” says Alex.

“I couldn't afford to study and, as a result, I got a job. About two weeks before the job started I received a phone call and was told that I received this scholarship. For me, it was an easy decision. I had to take the scholarship – this was a massive opportunity. It was a head start that I couldn't refuse and has given me a huge advantage in starting my career pathway.”

The DiGS course is conducted at Dookie campus, the University of Melbourne’s regional agricultural campus and living laboratory, which has just received 2 million funding to update its labs and student accommodation.

Dookie campus Director Ros Gall says, “This is a wonderful opportunity to support and encourage students who might not have the chance to study at Dookie, and we know that students who study at Dookie are far more likely to seek regional careers – building capacity and contributing to the economic viability of regional Australia.”

Ros Gall
Dookie campus Director Ros Gall

For Alex, the opportunity to study at Dookie has opened doors and smoothed his transition into further study at the Parkville campus.

“Studying at Dookie has allowed me to build relationships and, next year, when I move to Parkville, all my peers will be coming with me,” says Alex.

“It's given me a taste of the uni life and also given me confidence to move to the city. I've never been 100 per cent sure of what I wanted to study, but agriculture has always been something I was interested in. Dookie has given me a great insight into the real farming world, which helped me make the decision to study agriculture.”

Dookie campus is a 2,440-hectare agricultural facility located near the towns of Shepparton and Benalla in Victoria, Australia.

Dookie campus

The study and research that takes place at Dookie campus tackles the challenges surrounding climate change, declining environmental health, food production and population growth by developing technology and practice in the field of agriculture and veterinary science.

The Destination Australia scholarships provide skills and education to tomorrow’s leaders in the areas of sustainability, growth and climate change.

They enable the Faculty to further strengthen its ties to the Goulburn Valley area and its commitment to regional Australian life.

Read more about the Diploma in General Studies (DiGS) program and the Destination Australia Scholarship.

Destination Australia

Banner image: Alex Lovel at Dookie campus in March 2020, before online learning commenced.