On Saturday night Kelly Price was announced as the 2017 AFGW Central West HSC Scholarship winner at a dinner held at the Cowra Golf Club.
(min cost $8)
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Kelly was presented with her scholarship by Sue Brown, Chairman of the Scholarship sub committee of the Central West Branch of the Australian Federation of Graduate Women.
Kelly, who is the daughter of Matt and Lisa Price of Canowindra, attended both St Raphael’s and Canowindra High School.
This year Kelly has been accepted at CSU Bathurst to study Bachelor of Education (K to Year 12).
Kelly, apart from applying herself to her studies was also a school captain and involved in her community.
The guest speaker for the evening, Dr Rachael Diprose was introduced by Sue Whiteley, who remembered Rachael as a student at St Raphael's in the early nineties.
Rachael gave a stimulating address directed in part to the HSC students from Canowindra High and St Raphael’s who were in attendance.
She paid tribute to her English teacher Mrs Christine Delaney, who she referred to as her mentor and a large influence on her journey to this point, and who encouraged the young Rachael to take chances and step outside her comfort zone and coached her in debating.
Since those school days Rachael has gained a double degree from the University of NSW, spent time at university in Barcelona and Indonesia, worked as an Australian Volunteers International Researcher, editing publications and translating, been a senior researcher with the World Bank (Indonesia), worked for The Asia Foundation in Cambodia concentrating on Conflict Research and Community Governance, and gained entrance Oxford University where she undertook field studies in Nigeria and Indonesia for her PhD, which was conferred in 2012.
Rachael spoke on the many issues facing people in third world countries in particular the the dynamics within communities which led to conflicts, often because of power struggles at the very basic levels.
Markets play a very important part in the economy of these societies and a slight imbalance of power can escalate into conflict.
Rachael found that large development programs could trigger local conflicts if little attention was paid to the existing dynamics within communities.
An interesting period of study for Rachael came during the Asian financial crisis when power sharing between major groups in Indonesia had broken down, parts of the markets were destroyed and violence was quickly pitted as Muslims against Christians.
Religion became symbolic of political divides leading to desecration of religious symbols.
It was a political problem that resulted in and built on religious mobilisation.
Rachael stressed that while these events were reported as widespread, the violent incidents were in fact in isolated pockets and she felt safe while living there and overtime the divisive politics became inclusive, inequalities were reduced and things returned to being peaceful.
In Nigeria the same dynamics occur – the lack of infrastructure, inequality causing instability, and religion and ethnicity being mobilised for violence.
When people are under stress, excluded, or in a situation of physical insecurity and economic uncertainty, the situation becomes incendiary as they mobilise for self protection.
Rachael has concluded that the bouts of violence, about which we read in the media, are not linked specifically to religion or ethnicity but to politics, political exclusion and inequality and religion is the emotive way to mobilise people.
Rachael’s work has seen her working for the Australian Government in Asia in the forest areas helping small communities understand carbon emissions and climate change.
In conclusion Rachael emphasised to the students that sometimes you have to make sacrifices to achieve the training or experience you need to reach your goal, don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be frightened to step outside that comfort zone as she was urged to do – the resulting adventure in life is worth it all.
Rachael is currently on the staff at University of Melbourne lecturing in the school of Government and following her address we all agreed she would be an outstanding and engaging teacher.
Present at the dinner were Rachael’s parents Jim and Rose Diprose and sister Emily along with many appreciative members of the community.
The next function to be hosted by the AFGW in Cowra will be a talk entitled "Art and Archaeology of the Top End” by eminent archaeologist Dr Josephine Flood to be held at the Cowra Services Club on Sunday, March 26 at 2pm.
The cost of the afternoon tea will be $20, with students and pensioners paying $12.
Primary school students will be admitted free.
Payment will be at the door but numbers will be required for catering by replying to Marianne Payten on 6342 6716, Robyn Coffey 6342 1766 (leave a message during school hours) or Christine Parker on 6341 2111.
Profits from this event will fund the AFGW Cowra-Canowindra HSC Scholarship for 2018.
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