A year in the life of a Western Chances Alumni Community Program member

Posted: Wed, 14th December 2016 | Written by: The Team at Western Chances

The Alumni Community Program provides past scholarship recipients with valuable opportunities to connect with each other, tap into our extensive learning and collaboration networks and achieve their career and life goals.

A year in the life of a Western Chances Alumni Community Program member

It’s been a great first year for the Western Chances Alumni Community Program

Since March we have;

  • Welcomed 140 Subscribers to the Alumni mailing list
  • Received 98 responses to our Alumni survey
  • Given away two pre-loved bicycles, a $100 Woolworths Voucher, 24 tickets to the Degas exhibition, 50 double passes to the Melbourne International Film Festival, 10 tickets to the Think West Festival and nine double passes to Heide Museum of Modern Art, Card readers and ipad covers – with a combined value of approximately $3000
  • Presented two networking events and two professional development workshops attracting a total of 139 attendees

Alumni Community Program Launch - 21 July, 2016

The program kicked off with a networking event hosted by Maddocks Law Firm in the CBD. 90 alumni and Western Chances supporters were in attendance at the cocktail style event which included a musical performance by a current scholarship recipient as well as inspiring speeches from Western Chances Founder and Chair, Terry Bracks, and Young Ambassador Julia Truong.

It was a highly successful evening with some great networking happening amongst our alumni and supporters.

‘A truly brilliant event...it made you feel that you really wanted to be a part of Western chances in any way,’  Janice Thomas, Senior Director – Engagement, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne

‘Congratulations on a fantastic launch of the alumni program! It was such a lovely night, I had a great time. I'm really keen on the workshops on offer and thought I'd express my interest early,’ Abel, Alumni member



Financial Health Check - 24 August, 2016 presented by the Bank of Melbourne

Our first free workshop for alumni was presented by the Footscray branch of the Bank of Melbourne. The Financial Health Check workshops was designed to develop sound financial practices early in life as a key to financial security and independence.

‘I found the banking workshop (Alumni Financial Workshop) very interesting and helpful. Thank you so much,’ Selena, Alumni member

Leadership and career planning workshop - 14 October, 2016 presented by Craig Perrett act3

This workshop provided expert advice on developing leadership abilities and how to be strategic about planning a career. This intensive, specialised session was extremely well received by all participants. Michael Waters, Head of Corporate Banking Vic & SA Westpac Institutional Bank, made time to welcome the group and shared his insights into what makes a great leader. He provided this feedback:

‘I am genuinely pleased the (Alumni) Leadership Seminar was so successful. To be honest, I actually would have liked to stay around with the group to listen in on their thoughts. I have received a couple of emails from some attendees, which is greatly appreciated on a personal level…We were delighted we were able to assist in some way.’

‘I just wanted to say a big thank you for arranging yesterday’s workshop (Alumni Leadership Workshop). I have taken so much away from it personally. I will be certainly putting some things into practice at my internship… I couldn’t be more satisfied and appreciative of the effort Western Chances and Craig have put in. I can’t wait for the next instalment of workshops,’ Mike, Alumni member

Think West Festival 2016

Developed by The School of Life Australia, Think West 2016 was a community festival dedicated to enhancing emotional intelligence through the exploration of philosophy and culture. We provided ten tickets for two festival sessions ‘Meshel Laurie On Resilience’ and ‘Think West Live: Urban Wisdom’.

‘I attended the Think West talks last week and if I had to sum up the experience in one word, it would be 'inspired’,' Michelle, alumni member

Alumni end of year party on 24 November, 2016 at Kindred Studios in Yarraville

Closing out the year was a wonderful evening at Kindred Studios for our first ever end of year celebration. Western Chances staff, alumni members as well as some tertiary scholarship recipients and guests all enjoyed catching up with each other, sharing stories and eating some delicious pizza together. The group was entertained by some talented alumni including Cathleen Pho who sang beautifully and Ezeldin Deng played some great DJ sets. We were also delighted to be entertained by young comedian Angus Gordon, RAW Comedy Winner, 2015. Alumni also got their hands on some great prizes including fitness sets and computer accessories.

Are you a previous scholarship recipient? We would love to welcome you as a member of our alumni. If you are currently aged over 18 and not currently receiving a scholarship from us, find out more about how to join the program here.

This program is made possible through the generous support of Gandel Philanthropy and The Trawalla Foundation.

We would like to particularly thank Maddocks Law Firm, the Bank of Melbourne (Footscray Branch), Craig Perrett act3 and Westpac Bank for providing such wonderful resources for our Alumni events in 2016.

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