Sam cashes in on Rotary award

FORMER Grafton High School student Samantha Duff will head south to begin her Bachelor of Music studies at the Newcastle Conservatorium with $2500 worth of security stashed in her bank account.

The teenager, who completed her Higher School Certificate last year, picked up Grafton Midday Rotary Club's Frank Glasson Memorial Scholarship.

Ms Duff said she will keep scholarship money aside for an 'emergency'.

Ms Duff said it would be comforting to have it as she begins an exciting new chapter in her life.

This weekend the young student moves out of home for the first time and will take up residence with four others in share accommodation in Newcastle.

For the self-confessed 'mummy's girl' it is both an exciting and 'scary' time.

“I'm moving in with four people and three of them I've never met before,” she said.

“I think there's going to be a lot of phone calls home to mum for a while.”

She has no plans for her scholarship money, planning to keep it safe until it is really needed.

“I don't want to spend it on anything silly,” she said.

Ms Duff is already an accomplished musician, reaching seventh grade piano and fifth grade on the saxophone.

Already she has shown an interest in passing on her musical knowledge, teaching piano to children aged as young as five.

However, her ambition is to become a high school music teacher and pass on her love of music to others.

“Music is part of your life forever,” she said.

“That's what I want to be able to pass on to people I will teach.”

Ms Duff is the seventh student to win the scholarship since the club introduced the award in 2003.

Scholarship organiser Don Philbrook said the award was not academic, but given to people who might miss out on university because of adversity of some sort.

“It's been heartening for club members over the years that the people who have won this award have enjoyed considerable success,” he said.

“The first winner, Rebecca Ballard, has fought a lifetime illness and because of it was home-schooled.

“But she has gone on to complete a rural science degree and diploma of teaching, bought her own home and is now living in Armidale working as a Landcare co-ordinator.

“Max Quinliven, who won the scholarship in 2004, completed a rural science degree with honours and is now working for the Department of Primary Industry in Queensland, doing cropping research and advising farmers.”

Club president David Thompson said the award had been the only reason one of the winners had completed her time at university.

“She told us that the only reason she kept going was that she didn't want to let any of us down,” he said.

The award is named after Frank Glasson, the only member of the club to have died while a member.

It was originally the Grafton Midday Rotary Scholarship, but on the death of Mr Glasson in a canoeing mishap on the Clarence River, the club voted to name the award after him.

Previous winners

PREVIOUS winners of the Frank Glasson Memorial Scholarship are:

2003 - Rebecca Ballard

2004 - Max Quinliven

2005 - Anna Carle

2006 - Maree Wright

2007 - Alita Maloney

2008 - Kayla Frame

2009 - Samantha Duff

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