By Grace Hull
I was awarded the Long Tan Bursary in 2021. I was eligible through my paternal grandfather’s service in the Australian Army during the Vietnam War. My grandfather’s time in the Army inspired my own father to join the Royal Australian Air Force, and it is here where he met my mother, who also served.
I have vivid childhood memories of my parents talking about their experiences during their time in the Air Force. One of their tricks was talking in morse code or Indonesian, skills they acquired during their service in front of my siblings and me. We had no clue what they were saying. But that was the fun of it!
After retiring from the Air Force, my parents both achieved post-graduate degrees. I watched them attend university as mature-aged students and go on to work in prestigious roles. I was able to truly understand the importance of tertiary education.
I was awarded the Long Tan Bursary in support of my studies as an undergraduate psychology and sports business student. It meant I could pursue my studies full-time and continue training for elite-level swimming.
Growing up, I was an Australian representative and international medallist in swimming. This required a commitment of many hours of training throughout the week – something I could continue doing thanks to the financial support of the Long Tan Bursary.
A year after being awarded the Long Tan Bursary, I was awarded a New Colombo Plan (NCP) Scholarship by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
As part of my NCP Scholarship program, I am living, studying, and interning in the Indo-Pacific Region for up to 18 months. I work for an international NGO in the sport for development sector and am completing my final semester as an exchange student at Mahidol University in Bangkok.
On a recent visit to Singapore with my sister, we saw an Australian Army uniform at the National Museum. I was reminded of my dad telling us about when he lived in Singapore as a child. His father was stationed there with the Army. Wherever I am in the world, I am never too far away from something that reminds me of the honour of coming from a veteran family.
Grace was awarded the Long Tan Bursary in 2021.