UC students win prestigious media scholarships

UC students win prestigious media scholarships

Victoria Murray

28 November 2012: Two University of Canberra students have been awarded prestigious media scholarships that include placements in the major news organisations WIN Television and the ABC.

The Peter Leonard Scholarship for Broadcast Journalism and the University of Canberra-Australian Broadcasting Corporation (UC-ABC) Scholarship for Indigenous Studies in Journalism and Media Arts and Production were presented at a joint ceremony on 31 October at the University.

The Peter Leonard Scholarship honours the memory of Peter Leonard, who was the face of WIN Television in Canberra for 16 years. The scholarship is an initiative of WIN, the ACT government and the University.


2012 Peter Leonard Scholarship winner Ashley Leal with WIN Television journalist and 2011 winner Gabrielle Adams. Photo: Michelle McAulay

Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of International Studies student Ashley Leal was awarded the 2012 Peter Leonard Scholarship. The fourth-year student received a $5,000 cash prize and a four-week placement at WIN Television. She was chosen among three finalists who had participated in work experience with the network for one week.

Professor of journalism at the University and journalism course convenor, Matthew Ricketson, said that the three finalists had a golden opportunity to put the skills and knowledge they had learnt throughout their university studies into practice in the WIN newsroom.

“The three finalists were able to apply the skills they have learnt in the classroom in the newsroom and they have also gained a few invaluable skills that can only be learnt on the job,” Professor Ricketson said.

WIN Television journalist Greg Thompson said that the team are very proud of the Peter Leonard scholarship and believe it is a wonderful initiative, particularly the work experience component for the finalists.

Tess Ryan

Tess Ryan won the UC-ABC Scholarship for Indigenous Students in Journalism and Media Arts and Production. Photo: Michelle McAulay

“We were so impressed with everyone who came in as part of the scholarship and did work experience. They are great people with wonderful personalities and initiative,” Mr Thompson said.

Ms Leal said that she enjoyed the work experience aspect of the scholarship as she learnt a lot from working directly with the WIN team. 

“The best part was that I was given a lot of opportunities to work on and search for my own stories. Whilst it was challenging, it was challenging in the best way. I was certainly thrown in the deep end but that was the best way for me to learn,” Ms Leal said.

Fourth year students Dion Pretorius and Olivia Neethyrajah were the runners up and received $500 each.

The UC-ABC Scholarship for Indigenous Students in Journalism and Media Arts and Production was awarded to Tess Ryan, a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies student. This scholarship stemmed from a commitment by the University to encourage more Indigenous students in journalism or media, arts and production. 

The UC-ABC scholarship encompasses both ABC TV and ABC Radio depending on the skills and interests of the recipient, as well as a $3,000 prize.

Ms Ryan will intern at ABC News and The 7:30 Report, as well as with ABC’s 666 Radio programs.

“The whole experience has been a great learning opportunity and I now get to intern in the ABC TV newsroom and in the radio studios,” Ms Ryan said.