A passion for maths and science coupled with a craving for creativity have steered Ashleigh Miller towards an architecture degree at The University of Melbourne with the support of a Fielding Menzies Tertiary Scholarship.
Ashleigh, who attended Horsham College, is a self-proclaimed 'maths-science kid in school and arts kid outside of school'.
"I always enjoyed the problem solving of maths and science - there was something satisfying about having a problem and working from the top to the bottom of the page to work out the answer. The creativity comes a lot from my mum. One of her jobs is running the local arts shop. I'd often do scrapbooking and canvases with her and spent time running classes for younger kids teaching them too," she said.
Ashleigh also had the opportunity to travel to Horsham's sister city in China for two weeks in year 10 where she spent a week in a school and a week travelling with eight of her peers (you can watch a short video about the experience here).
"The trip opened my eyes up to the importance of learning different perspectives and ways of doing things - it was a really incredible opportunity. It was also fascinating to see how things are built and use space differently - like towns built on the side of mountains," she said.
The scholarship, which provides students from the Wimmera Region the opportunity to study at the University of Melbourne while living on campus at Ormond College, will enable Ashleigh to continue exploring her fascination with buildings along with her interests in design, creativity and problem solving via a degree in Architecture.
"Architecture and design is where you can combine a group of skills to create something and move forwards. Once I graduate I'd love to find the opportunity to work across a range of projects and develop my own style," she said.
As for the long-term future, Ashleigh's goals are simple.
"Everything I read about the scholarship pointed to values that mirror mine. I value the people I work with and want to share the knowledge and experiences I gain to inspire and create positive environments. In the future I want to be able to support the people that got me here," she said.
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 scholarship is valued at $45,000 over three years.