A Shepparton High School graduate has earned a Macpherson Smith Rural Foundation award worth $45,000 across three years to help with the cost of his university studies.ALEXANDRA BOLKAS May 1, 2014 4:06am
Education assistance: Shepparton High School graduate Hussain Alamein earned a Macpherson Smith Rural Foundation award to help with his university study costs.
Hussain Alamein felt nervous and slightly out of place when he began Year 7 at Shepparton High School in 2008.
He said the transition into secondary school was difficult after arriving in Shepparton from Iraq with his parents and three brothers six years earlier.
‘‘When I started school, I fell into the wrong crowd,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a difficult transition for me, but I was able to overcome it.’’
Mr Alamein, 18, decided to throw himself into academic life and leadership roles within the school.
He became a Year 10 Beacon ambassador and was voted school captain.
After graduating last year, he achieved an ATAR high enough to secure him a place in Melbourne University’s undergraduate biomedicine course.
On Tuesday, he returned to his former school stomping ground to be presented with a Macpherson Smith Rural Foundation award worth $45
The aspiring surgeon was one of four scholarship recipients chosen from more than 200 applicants across Victoria.
‘‘I feel very happy — I can’t really describe it more than that,’’ he said.
‘‘My advice to students would be to work hard from the beginning and study hard and it will all work out.’’
Shepparton High School principal Phil Squire said Mr Alamein was a dedicated student and proved himself as a voice for cultural diversity.
‘‘He has been a strong voice speaking on behalf on non-English speaking refugees in school forums,’’ he said.
‘‘Like all adolescents, he had some challenges in his early school, but he got himself focused from Year 9 onwards.
‘‘He worked hard to achieve outstanding results and we’re absolutely rapt for him.’’
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