By Sitanan Petcharawan
My name is Sitanan Petcharawan. I was honoured to be awarded the Long Tan Bursary, sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs, in 2018.
My uncle served in the Vietnam war as a signalman. He was in a Police Force for several years before he joined the army. I always look up to him, he’s like a hero to me because he protects everyone. After I finished high school, he suggested that I should apply for a scholarship with AVCAT as it will be a great benefit for me.
At that time, I had so many concerns about my future, and I was under a lot of stress. But after hearing the news from AVCAT I was chosen to be awarded a Long Tan Bursary I was relieved.
The news helped me so much. When I shared the news with my step-parents (I was adopted from my aunty since I was young and when she remarried, they took full custody of me but I still called them aunt and uncle) they were really happy for me and promised to support me whichever way I chose.
I started university with a Bachelor of Environmental Science, with a major in marine biology, at Deakin University. I later transferred to a Bachelor of Science Bachelor because at that time I was still confused with what I really want to do in the future. I made a change to discover myself first, by studying as many different topics to see which pathways really interest me.
Life is like experimenting with trials and errors. I’d say that I didn’t start out smoothly since I was young. But I always believe there is a lot of opportunity out there, you just have to reach out and try to seize it. Like being awarded the Long Tan Bursary, I’m so thankful that I was chosen to be a part of this scholarship. It helps me so much with my finances. I can get textbooks and materials that I need for university.
Lastly, my uncle passed away in early February. It was hard for all of us, but we must carry on. I believe that is what he would like us to do as well. He always said to me, ‘I’m so proud of you’, and I will definitely make him proud.
Apply for a scholarship online here, from 18 August until midnight, 31 October.