UNE Scholarship recipient lands well deserved dream job

UNE Scholarship recipient lands well deserved dream job

Five years of juggling full-time study, work and volunteering has paid off for Jessica Lewis, who recently started a graduate position at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Ms Lewis began her study at UNE in 2013, undertaking a Bachelor of Arts followed by a Masters of Secondary Teaching. Working a job as a pharmacy assistant and a peer writing tutor, Ms Lewis says finding a balance between work and study had its challenges.

“Balancing university and working was tricky at times.”

“I put a lot of effort in my studies. It was something I was very passionate about, especially the Bachelor of Arts”, she said.

Throughout Ms Lewis’ time at UNE she also held an honorary and voluntary position as an Ambassador for the NSW Centenary of ANZAC Advisory Council. In this capacity she organised various commemorative activities within the New England region, including a charity event that raised money for Legacy and Soldier On. This is where her passion for assisting veterans prospered.

“Through the Council I have had the pleasure of meeting with a lot of veterans, their families and war widows left behind. This made me even more interested in what I could potentially do to help those people,” said Ms Lewis.

It was this volunteering and peer tutoring which exemplified the leadership skills needed to secure a UNE Graduate Legacy Scholarship. Further to this, Ms Lewis was also a proud recipient of the David Phillips Scholarship for her academic achievements.

While Ms Lewis still had to work to survive during university, these scholarships meant she was able to step away from paid work when she needed to.

“Although I was working it meant that I didn’t need to put in so many hours, so I could take a step back from paid work when I needed to, to focus on my studies.”

After finishing her masters, Ms Lewis found out she was successful in gaining a position in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Graduate Development Program and started the role in November 2017.

“The area of the Department I am currently working in is looking to really reassess the way we provide services to veterans and aiming to make it a much more veteran-centric process,” Ms Lewis said.

“The Graduate Program gives me the opportunity to see several areas of the Department over three rotations, and one of my main preferences for a future rotation will be in the Client and Commemorations space. In that area there’s an opportunity to develop teaching resources for schools.”

After the year in the graduate position, Ms Lewis will be offered a permanent position in the Department.

Ms Lewis thanks those who contribute towards sponsorships like those she received.

Thank you to those who donate, my scholarships were huge in allowing me to still live comfortably while studying, it helped take quite a bit of stress off.

If you’d like to contribute to the future of students like Ms Lewis contact Kate Hadfield in the Office of Advancement on 02 6773 2870 or kate.hadfield@une.edu.au.

David Phillips Scholarship:
The David Phillips Scholarship was established in 1994 by Anna Glover-Phillips in the memory of her late husband. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic merit as indicated by previous academic records.

Graduate Legacy Scholarship:
The Graduate Legacy Scholarship was established in 2014 by the UNE Student Association (UNESA). Selection is made by the Undergraduate Scholarship Committee after recommendations from the UNESA President. The committee takes into consideration involvement and leadership activities as well as commitment to the proposed course.

Author: Rebecca Stone
Office of Advancement
02 6773 2870