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Scholarship opens for next generation leaders

A scholarship at The University of Sydney to assist women in the fields of agriculture and animal sciences opened for applications on October 12 and will be awarded for the first time in 2022.

Named in honour of Kristina Hacket, an alumni and researcher in the animal health industry, the scholarship came about through the efforts of her friends, family members and colleagues, who raised over $115,000.

Leading animal health companies Elanco Australasia and Virbac Australia both made significant contributions in recognition of Kristina’s endeavours, both in collaborative R&D and in her role as a capable and supportive leader who inspired her team and colleagues.

Elanco Australasia’s ANZ Executive Director Hendrik van der Walt said:

“Kristina’s legacy of research and collaboration continues to be felt by her colleagues, our customers, and the animals in their care. We are proud to have been able to contribute to this scholarship fund – in honour of Kristina, and as part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion in agriculture and animal sciences. Maybe a future beneficiary will be able to follow in Kristina’s footsteps, conducting animal health research for Elanco.”

John Embling Regional Director – SANZA for Virbac elaborated on the reasons for their support:

“It is a great privilege for Virbac Australia to be part of this wonderful initiative in memory of Kristina. As a local manufacturer of animal health products, the purpose of the project is aligned with our organisational values in every way. Congratulations to all those who have made this a reality and we look forward to supporting the successful recipients in their respective journeys.”

Sarah Hunter, board chair of the Ag Institute Australia and a friend and classmate of Kristina, said the scholarship was their contribution to addressing a systemic problem.

“The broken rung effect is widely recognised as a contributor to gender imbalance in senior ranks. If this support gives women an opportunity to be selected for their first management role at the same rate as their male counterparts, then we are on the path to gender parity at every level.”

She added:

“We sincerely thank Elanco and Virbac for leading the way in an industry which remains sadly under-represented by women in leadership positions, despite the significant contribution generations of women have made – and continue to make – to Australian agriculture.”

The scholarship of $6000 per year is open to women enrolled in an Honours degree in agriculture or animal sciences (including veterinary science) within the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. It will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and personal statements outlining Honours area of study and interest in agriculture and animal science, current and prior leadership roles, and how the scholarship will benefit them in completing their degree.

To learn how to apply for the Kristina Hacket Memorial Scholarship, visit

To donate to the Kristina Hacket Memorial Scholarship, visit

Source: University of Sydney

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