Premier infrastructure firm, AECOM has awarded a $15,000 scholarship to University of Newcastle (UON) student, Rachel Dalla in memory of Graham Taylor, an inspirational Hunter leader and mentor who passed away suddenly in 2016.
Rachel, who is in her second year of a Chemical Engineering degree, will receive a payment of $5,000 each year for three years, as well as a paid work placement at AECOM’s Newcastle office from July 2017.
Rachel said she was inspired to apply for the scholarship for many reasons.
“I have respect and appreciation for Graham and the company who would bequeath
a scholarship to help those starting out, and in the name of someone they obviously have such respect for,” Rachel said.
“What I read about Graham shows he was a hardworking, admirable person; someone with integrity and respect from his peers. His legacy of environmentally friendly work really struck a chord with me as well.
“I want to learn not only through the rigorous academic program they have here at UON, but just as importantly, by learning on the job, finding where my studies fit in context, and down which avenue they could take me.”
AECOM’s Hunter Area Manager, Ian Richardson said the business was proud to award the scholarship honouring Graham’s memory.
“He was a mentor to so many of us, not just at AECOM but across the industry. His achievements and passion for supporting the careers of young people left a lasting impact on his friends, family, colleagues, and the broader profession,” Ian said.
“We are so pleased to offer this scholarship and to support Rachel through her studies. After meeting Rachel, we feel very lucky to be working with her – she is not only excelling at her studies, but she has shown great initiative and comes to us with determination and a desire for continual learning and development.”
Rachel was formally presented with her scholarship by Graham’s son Antony at a ceremony in Newcastle on 7 September 2017. The event was hosted by the University’s Faculties of Engineering and Built Environment, Health and Medicine, and Science in a joint STEMM celebration for Scholars’ Week.
The scholarship was established in memory of Graham who, over a 40year career, made a significant contribution to the health of communities and protection of the environment through his focus on environmental and pollution controls.
IMAGE | Recipient Rachel Dalla receiving her scholarship from Graham Taylor’s son, Antony Taylor.