Kaniva-born Monash University student Kate Maddern has won the 2021 Victorian Rhodes Scholarship.
Considered one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world, Kate will travel to Oxford University in September 2021 where she hopes to enrol in the BA (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) with senior status.
The scholarship was announced last Saturday by Her Excellency, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria, at Government House.
Kate graduated from Monash Univeristy in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours) degree, majoring in Ecology and Conservation Biology.
A passionate advocate for advancing sustainable food production, she is focused on the role she can play in enabling agriculture to become a leading force recognised for its sustainability and advances in technology, while continuing to produce food and fibre for all.
As well as showing her academic capabilities, Kate has undertaken a number of roles which have showcased how active she has been as a student and as a member of her local community.
She held leadership roles while she was a student at Monash University, along with currently being a volunteer firefighter in the Sandsmere CFA brigade.
When it comes to sport, she has actively participated in squash and netball clubs at school, Monash and the local community, including as a volunteer netball umpire.
Becoming one of the very few people from Australia to be offered a Rhodes Scholarship, Kate explained that it was a surreal moment that will open up a world of exciting opportunities.
"Learning that I'd won the 2021 Victorian Rhodes Scholarship was incredible," Kate said.
"It opens up a whole new world of opportunity to better understand how markets and policy influence Australian agriculture and the effects this has on farmers."
Determined to make an positive impact on Australia's agricultural industry, she said sustainability is is an issue that she holds close to her heart.
OTHER NEWS: Weidemann on a heart health mission after scare
"Growing up on a sheep and grain farm in the Wimmera, farming with a focus on sustainability is an issue close to my heart," Kate said.
"With this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, my goal is to apply the education, skills and experiences that come with a Rhodes Scholar towards a more sustainable future for Australia's agriculture industry."
Each year, nine Rhodes Scholarships are available for outstanding Australians to study at the University of Oxford
One Rhodes Scholarship is offered in each of the states (NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania), and three for Australia at large.
Did you know you can receive updates straight to your inbox? To make sure you're up-to-date with news from across the region, sign up below.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to the Wimmera Mail-Times, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling the Wimmera's story. We appreciate your support of local journalism.