The Crescent Foundation and Western Sydney University have joined together to launch a new scholarship program to support high-achieving students from refugee backgrounds.
Driven by a shared vision to assist refugees and provide life-changing educational opportunities, the Crescent Foundation will offer the scholarships to students who have been granted permanent humanitarian visas in the past five years.
The Crescent Wealth Foundation Leadership Scholarships are valued at $7,500 per year for three years. In 2017, three scholarships will be offered to students studying across the full range of courses offered by Western Sydney University, with scope to expand the program over time.
In addition, further support from the community will be sought to fund at least an extra 20 scholarships under the program.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover says Western Sydney University is pleased to be able to provide practical assistance to those who are making a new start in Australia.
“We know the powerful role that higher education plays in transforming people’s lives, and the positive flow-on effects this has for their families and wider communities,” says Professor Glover.
“Many refugees who are new to Australia have had their education disrupted through war and violence. We are pleased to partner with the Crescent Wealth Foundation to establish these scholarships to help students continue their studies and realise their potential.”
Mr Talal Yassine OAM, Director of the Crescent Wealth Foundation, said that driving education opportunity was essential to supporting refugees to best integrate into Australian life.
“Crescent Wealth Foundation believes that education is the single most important factor that can assist recently arrived Australians in a caring and nurturing environment to be the best they can be, to thrive, succeed and contribute to the social, economic and academic fabric of our nation,” says Mr Yassine.
“Crescent Wealth Foundation has embarked on this journey with a vision of providing a sustainable, positive and real impact on the lives of refugees, partnering with the prestigious Western Sydney University to support the less privileged and those struggling to afford a formal education.”
“The Foundation is delighted to offer Crescent Wealth Foundation Leadership Scholarships, a life-changing opportunity for students who otherwise would not have access to education. We are passionate about the education of refugees and will be assiduously working towards providing at least 20 scholarships per annum for many years to come.”
“We invite the community to contact us to learn more about how they can support these scholarships.”
The new scholarships add to the University’s existing programs to support refugees, including Western Sydney College Refugee Scholarships, the Joan Reid Scholarship for Refugee Women, and the landmark Refugee Scholarship Fund.
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Talal currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Whitlam Institute and Western Sydney University Foundation Council Board. He also serves as Chairman of First Quay Capital and Chairman of the Australian Arab Dialogue. Talal has also served on the Australia Post, Board of Sydney Ports, Macquarie University and the Western Sydney Area Health Service and the Chairman of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Council of Australia Arab Relations. In an executive capacity, Talal spent 10 years at PwC as a director and strategist, and at investment firm Babcock & Brown in the Corporate Finance Group and later in the Technical Real Estate Division. Later Talal held leadership positions in Better Place Australia, Platinum Hearing and Star Transport Australia.