- A leading family pastoral company in southern NSW has supported Charles Sturt University and provided student scholarships for more than a decade
- Charles Sturt seen as the university of the southern Murray Darling Basin and as very important for the future of the region
- Support for the University is reinforced by the evident impact of scholarships on students
A family pastoral company in southern NSW is an exemplar of the benefits that student scholarships and support for Charles Sturt University can make to individuals and rural and regional communities.
The Corrigan family of the renowned Rennylea Pastoral Company Ltd at Culcairn and Bowna in southern NSW (between Wagga Wagga and Albury) have supported the University for more than a decade and provide the Rennylea - The Future in Livestock Scholarship for students interested in a career in aspects of livestock breeding.
Rennylea PC has bred Angus cattle since 1952, introduced artificial breeding in their herd in 1974, and enrolled in Group Breedplan when it commenced in 1985. Today there are 1,500 cows in the herd, and a total of 3,500 cattle on seven properties located at Bowna and Culcairn.
Early in the establishment of the Charles Sturt School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Rennylea PC spokesperson Mrs Lucinda Corrigan initiated a request to fellow cattle breeders and they were able to secure 23 head of Angus cattle for the University farms at that time, which was a very positive demonstration of the support the industry has for the University.
Mrs Corrigan also chaired an industry advisory panel at the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation at Charles Sturt for nine years and said the family saw the positive relationships and partnerships that have been developed by key members of the Centre.
“We see Charles Sturt University as the university of the southern Murray Darling Basin and its location is very important for the future of the greater region,” Mrs Corrigan said.
“We also think that ‘train in the country, remain in the country’ is very true, and that we need all the major professions and academia located in rural Australia to develop the depth of thinking, culture and student experience.”
Mrs Corrigan said that the family’s ongoing support of the University was reinforced by the evident impact that scholarships have on students.
“Each year we gift a Rennylea scholarship to a continuing student interested in ‘the future of the livestock industry’,” she said.
“When we receive the acknowledgment letter from the scholarship recipients, we are always touched by their story, by the impact that our scholarship has, and how it has influenced their student journey.
“We want to continue to do this permanently.
“The scholarship recipients graduate and go on to contribute to their chosen profession, and that is a great ending to this part of their experience because it is so important to make these opportunities available to young people so that lack of funds don’t limit their aspirations.”
The Corrigans also have many Charles Sturt students from the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and the School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences do practical work with Rennylea PC, and this gives the family great optimism for the future.
“Many of our friends and colleagues have children who have been educated at Charles Sturt University, and we can see how pivotal this has been in their experience and what they bring back to their communities and families,” Mrs Corrigan said.
She noted there were positive flow-on effects to their business as a result of their linkage with the University.
“We are always delighted to host students, student groups, collaborate with academics, and many other interactions over the years. We also have employed a number of graduates and they have been a great addition to Rennylea,” she said.
Charles Sturt scholarship applications close on Monday 8 February.