Harding Miller Education Foundation executive director Cara Varian and director Irene Miller with Nanango State High School student Rhiannon Ryan (Photo: HMEF)

July 4, 2022

A Nanango State High School student has received a $20,000 scholarship to help her with her studies over the next four years.

Rhiannon Ryan was the lucky recipient of the Harding Miller Education Foundation scholarship.

Kim Harding and Irene Miller established the Harding Miller Education Foundation in 2015.

The scholarship program aims to assist high-potential Year 9 girls who may be experiencing socio-economic disadvantage.

Since its launch in 2016, the Harding Miller Education Foundation has supported more than 800 scholarship recipients in 352 high schools across Australia.

Executive director Cara Varian said the scholarships provided the girls with a new laptop, high speed internet connections, tutoring, career guidance and support to help cover the costs of uniforms, books and school expenses.

“Where these young women have faced barriers, we are offering them a pathway through school and also potentially to university,” Ms Varian said.

“These students have the potential to become leaders in their fields and we hope that the scholarship gives them the support they need to understand and achieve that potential.”

Rhiannon said the extra financial and educational support would provide a great benefit to her learning.

“I live on a beef property, in a rural area, and spend three hours a day travelling to and from school,” she said.

“My parents’ business has been severely affected by drought and we suffered extreme financial, mental and emotional hardship enduring the 2019-20 drought, the worst in living memory.

“We are currently in the rebuilding and recovery phase, and without support, tertiary education options are limited for my siblings and me.

“I have a strong interest in sustainable agriculture and plan on pursuing a career in that direction.”

The Harding Miller Education Foundation distributed 162 scholarships across Australia this year.

Ms Varian said applications will open soon for the next round of scholarships, and she encouraged girls from Year 8 who think they might qualify, to consider applying.

“If you’re a girl in Year 8, who thinks that your lack of computer, internet or mentoring is holding you back from success, we’d love to hear from you,” Ms Varian said.

“And of course we would love to hear from more generous donors who can help us fund this program and the wonderful outcomes it is driving for young women.”

Applications for scholarships for 2023 will open on July 13 and close on September 14.

  • More information is available online

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