Amanda follows icons to Oxford
REDBANK Plains woman Amanda Rojek could well be Ipswich's first female Rhodes scholar.
The 25-year-old University of Queensland medical student, who has grown up in the Ipswich area, has won the prestigious scholarship to attend the University of Oxford.
Ms Rojek was overwhelmed on hearing the announcement at Government House last week.
"When you get to that stage, and you're up against amazing students, winning is so unexpected," Ms Rojek said.
"It's such a great honour."
Ms Rojek will be able to continue her postgraduate medical studies at Oxford, where she plans to study a masters in Global Health Science.
"I have two particular interests - firstly, in the area of disaster response and management, and second, in emerging and infectious diseases," Ms Rojek said.
She said the January floods proved the importance of disaster management, and showed her how natural disasters can affect everyone.
"At the time of the floods, I was actually walking back to Mt Everest base camp, so I wasn't directly affected.
"But the experience of hearing about it and not knowing exactly what was going on really drove it all home," Ms Rojek said.
"Also, seeing how quickly we responded and rebuilt was amazing.
"Of course, I would love to help out overseas, when you think of New Orleans and Haiti, that's so important.
"Really, it doesn't matter who you are before disaster strikes," Ms Rojek said.
Ms Rojek said she plans to return to the area after studying and possibly working overseas.
"It's a really great opportunity to get a different perspective," Ms Rojek said.
"I will definitely come back to Australia."
Ms Rojek said she will embark on the scholarship in 2013, following a year of medical internship at Cairns.
She competed with six short-listed candidates to win the scholarship, which is one of nine awarded yearly across Australia.
Women became eligible for Rhodes Scholarships in 1972.
- Bob Hawke
- Scientist John Ecccles
- Judge John Doyle
- Academic Peter Conrad
- Actor Kris Kristofferson
- Astronomer Edwin Hubble
- Tony Abbott