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Sydney Airport funds century-long scholarship to support under-represented groups in the aviation industry


The inaugural recipient of the SYD100 scholarship has been announced, with 19-year-old Manmeet Kaur the first recipient of a four-year scholarship to study at UNSW’s School of Aviation.

Manmeet Kaur is a first-year aviation management student at UNSW, who emigrated to Australia from India with her family six years ago. Ms Kaur attended high school in Western Australia and is an ex-Cadet Under Officer in the Australian Air Force Cadets.

“The thrill of flying is what draws me to aviation,” Ms Kaur said. 

“I’ve been involved in civil and military aviation both through my family and my time in the cadets. This scholarship means a lot to me and brings me immense positivity, especially during times of a global pandemic.” 

Funded by Sydney Airport, the SYD100 scholarship will support one student undertaking study at the UNSW School of Aviation, every year for the next 100 years. With a particular focus on broadening diversity in the next generation of aviation leaders, the scholarship provides under-represented groups in the industry with access to the education needed to succeed in the field.

Professor Gabriel Lodewijks, Head of UNSW School of Aviation said the University was thrilled to receive a century of support from Sydney Airport, highlighting the significance of aviation in Australia. 

“There will always be a need for a strong aviation industry in Australia, quite simply due to our size and location in the world,” Professor Lodewijks said. 

“The next 100 years in aviation will move at a very rapid pace and it’s crucial to ensure the next generation is properly prepared for what’s ahead. The challenge will be finding the right balance between technology and social interaction for passengers, as well as students understanding how technology is best used within the industry. 

“We’re also pleased that Sydney Airport shares our strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, providing practical support to under-represented groups in the aviation industry.”

UNSW Aviation operates as a School within the Faculty of Science at UNSW. Fittingly, Ms Kaur received the scholarship in the lead up to UNSW’s National Science Week; bringing together the latest global developments in science, technology and engineering to celebrate Australian scientists’ contribution to the world of knowledge.