A high number of scholarship recipients are international students who lost or were unable to gain employment in a challenging landscape for casual and part-time workers. Unable to access any federal government hardship programs, facing travel restrictions, and with the financial situations of their families significantly impacted by COVID-19 in many cases, there was a risk of this cohort of students becoming highly vulnerable.
Dr Vaughan reflects on his own student experience and the importance of creating a culture of support.
“When I undertook my veterinary training at the University of Queensland I was guided and mentored by my teachers. This had a profound influence on me. I believe that a similar culture exists at Flinders and I want to support that to continue and develop."
“I would like to think that students feel they belong to a community at Flinders and that staff are concerned about their welfare.”
He says one his own greatest achievements has been working as a veterinarian in a developing country and having the opportunity to teach students in Latin America.
He hopes the University’s support will contribute to the students developing their own sense of community, and that in their future careers they will be motivated to pursue issues of social justice and community support, and seek to serve others in their communities.
“My hope for their future is that they will become active citizens in whichever country they live.”