Canberra tertiary students Arlene Mendoza and Wenny Hamilton are the first duo to each receive an award for the ABC 2016 Women in Broadcast Technology (WIBT) Scholarship within their region.
ABC Deputy Director of Technology, Margaret Cassidy and ACT-based Technology Client Support Manager, Patrick Sproule award the students on Wednesday 6 September 2016. Arlene and Wenny each received paid work experience with the ABC’s Technology team in Canberra along with $1,000 book allowance towards their studies.
It almost did not happen for the Canberra students. In recent years, the WIBT scholarships criteria focussed on women undertaking their technology-related discipline at a TAFE institution. Due to TAFE’s hands-on approach to providing students with workplace skills.
This year, applications were received from students at all educational institutions and universities across Australia.
It was a good decision, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics findings in 2008 the Australian National University (ANU) and University of Canberra (UC) alone account for 97% of the total tertiary students in the ACT.
ANU Bachelor of Engineering & Bachelor of Commerce student Arlene says, she chose to study a double degree to give her the upper-hand over classmates when entering the workforce. According to the Institution of Engineers the percentage of female graduates of engineering and technology related courses in the ACT have been relatively stagnant over the decade.
Arlene is very active at ANU being currently a Student Ambassador, College of Engineering and Computer Science Representative and President of Committee with Robogals.
She makes every attempt to get involved and set herself apart. She finds it increasingly competitive amongst her engineering peers to attain unique work experience opportunities.
“Outside of Defence there aren’t many industries offering work experience. The ABC is different, it’s not every day you can say that I work for the nations broadcaster” Arlene says.
Arlene and Wenny will both walk away with first-hand experience of the technical side of broadcasting – how the equipment works, how radio and television is produced and transmitted and how to keep programs on-air when things go wrong.
University of Canberra student, Wenny Hamilton completed her work experience and says it “matched my skillset perfectly as a trained technician”.
Wenny adds with current studies to an extensive academic and professional career prior to her relocation to Australia from China. There she had over eighteen years’ experience in electronics, logic control systems, manufacturing processes as well as, experience as a trained IT teacher. Wenny taught IT to students from school entry to graduate years.
Since moving to Australia, Wenny started a family and furthered her academic career by enrolling in a Masters of Business informatics with UC. Now, she has her sight set on broadcast technology as the next step in her career.