Driven by a passion for human rights and international politics, Sienna Amarant will be the first person in her family to attend university and will undertake a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and International Study thanks to the support of a Fielding Menzies Tertiary Scholarship.
Sienna, who attended Stawell Secondary College, has been involved in leadership and mentoring throughout all her school life, but it was only in her more senior years that she started to reflect on the importance of these roles and how they could impact on the people around her.
"I've always been involved in leadership activities via smaller roles like being a school ambassador, every year there was something I was involved in. In the senior years I started to really understand the importance of it. I grew a lot in confidence and learned a lot as a House and School Captain, and I wanted to encourage other kids to pursue the same opportunities in leadership," she said.
Her participation in leadership activities, combined with exposure to subjects such as Legal Studies, Health & Human Development and Global Politics, are what led Sienna to choose to study a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and International Studies at the University of Melbourne.
"They were the subjects that had a worldly view and opened my mind about issues that I wasn't exposed to growing up in a rural community, they inspired me to work hard to understand different people and cultures and how they function," she said.
"I'm particularly interested in learning how I can promote and provide access to human rights for all through social policy - particularly when it comes to women and education. I believe that if we can keep helping people obtain high-quality education, particularly in developing countries, it can empower them to fight for their own rights, and subsequently improve the wellbeing of themselves and those around them," she said.
Sienna's aspirations for the future? She wants to learn as much as she can and she wants to help other people. We look forward to being part of the world she's striving to create.
The Fielding Menzies Tertiary Scholarships are awarded to two students from the Wimmera region in Western Victoria who exhibit passion, commitment to study and participation in leadership and community activities. The scholarship is a partnership between The Fielding Foundation, Ormond College and the Menzies Foundation. The scholarships support residency at Ormond College while completing an undergraduate degree at The University of Melbourne. The scholarship is valued at $45,000 over three years.
Ashleigh Miller of Horsham was awarded the second Fielding Menzies Tertiary Scholarship for 2017. Read her story here: Click here.