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2023 Round 1 Scholarship Recipients

Congratulations to our 2023 Round 1 Graduate, Veteran & Arts Scholarship Recipients!


The American Australian Association is delighted to announce the selection and award of the following scholarship recipients. Meet our scholars and find out more about their career aspirations below.

2023 AUS to US Graduate Education Fund Scholars

Kimberley Biggs is a prospective PhD graduate from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. Her PhD predominantly focussed on drug design where she developed several novel therapeutic candidates to reduce cell death in the brain during stroke. Now, she is travelling to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to work in Assistant Professor Giovanni Traverso’s laboratory. Throughout her post-doctoral studies, she aims to implement her background in biochemistry and molecular biology to the field of therapeutic formulation and administration. During this time, she will be working on a project to develop low-cost formulations for the effective delivery of probiotic strains for female and neonatal health applications. Ultimately, she aims to combine the valuable knowledge she will gain throughout this work with her previous experience in drug design in order to develop an informed perspective of how to effectively translate therapeutics to the clinic.

Katrina Black obtained her PhD from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, in 2019. Her doctoral research focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate the activity of potassium channels. She then completed a 2-year postdoctoral appointment at WEHI, where she used cryo-electron microscopy to visualize the molecules involved in the Wnt signaling pathway, which plays a significant role in cancer development. Her work has been published in respected scientific journals including Nature Communications, Cell Reports and Journal of Physiology. In February 2023, Katrina relocated to San Francisco to pursue further postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco, under the guidance of Dr. Kliment Verba. Her current research interests revolve around employing advanced structural biology techniques to understand the activation of receptor tyrosine kinases and how this goes awry in the development of cancer.

Sidhant Chopra is a psychologist and neuroscientist investigating the causes of and treatments for serious mental disorders, such as psychosis. He completed his Bachelor of Science with Honours at the Australian National University, and PhD in Clinical Psychology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Currently, Sid is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Holmes Lab within the Department of Psychology, at Yale University in Connecticut, USA. His research is focused on using multi-modal brain imaging to model the loss of synaptic connections within the brain, and how this may result in symptoms of psychosis, such as hallucinations and delusions. With the support of the American Australian Association Graduate Education Fund Scholarship, Sid will expand his program of research, specifically examining how the loss of synapses spreads throughout the brain via the complex network of axonal connections, and whether there are specific areas within the brain where pathology first starts.

Isabella Kong completed her PhD in October 2020 at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research at the University of Melbourne, Australia. During her PhD, she examined the epigenetic regulation of B cell response and developed unique expertise in immunology, epigenetics and bioinformatic studies. Isabella collaborated extensively both nationally and internationally where she provided her expertise in immunology and transcriptome studies. Her work during her PhD was presented in both national and international conferences and resulted in 15 scientific manuscripts. Isabella relocated to New York, USA in August to take up a postdoctoral position in Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) to study the regulation of viral latency program in EBV-associated lymphoma. During her postdoctoral training, she aims to identify a novel therapeutic approach to treat EBV-associated malignancies.

Himmat Panag is an aerospace engineer who is passionate about space systems and how they can be used to solve global issues. He holds a bachelor’s degrees in engineering and Mathematics from UNSW Sydney. After graduating in 2017, Himmat worked as a flight control engineer, designing autopilots for various aircraft. As a recipient of a 2021 Fulbright Future scholarship, Himmat completed a master’s in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, during which he completed a research placement at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory focussing on convex optimization and constrained optimal control.  Himmat is currently a completing his PhD in Aerospace Engineering, specialising in control theory and astrodynamics, where he will design trajectories and control algorithms for future space missions. He hopes to conduct research in collaboration with both US and Australian institutions, and to share this knowledge with fellow engineers and scientists on his return to Australia.

As a Ph.D. student at the University of New South Wales, Nicola Scott’s research focused on the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Currently, she is working as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Diego where her research focuses on understanding membrane protein functions in regulating organelle morphologies and disease. Scott has received several travel awards to attend and present her work at conferences in both Australia and throughout the U.S.A. She is involved in numerous outreach initiatives, including teaching a CRISPR-Cas9 module at a community college, serving as a mentor for the University of California, San Diego’s Biology Undergraduate and Master’s Mentorship Program and for other trainees in her laboratory.  She is committed to pursuing a career in academia and mentoring the next generation of budding scientists at the University of California, San Diego and beyond.

Dr. Arman Siahvashi is an award-winning researcher whose research focuses on enhancing efficiency and safety in hydrogen production, storage, and liquefaction. His PhD in Chemical/Process Engineering from the University of Western Australia helped him pioneer a cryogenic fluid system used for energy and space applications. With over 30 high-impact publications and collaborations in research projects totalling $14.5M, he has received prestigious fellowships and awards such as the Fulbright Scholarship and the Western Australian Early Career Scientist of the Year.

His fellowship at MIT will involve developing an advanced cooling system and analytical models to optimize hydrogen liquefaction. This work aims to increase cost-effectiveness and safety, facilitating large-scale hydrogen storage and transport for energy and space purposes. By extending knowledge on cryogenic hydrogen systems, Dr. Siahvashi’s research fosters sustainable development and carbon emissions reduction. Upon returning to Australia, he intends to disseminate his findings and train the next generation of researchers.

Dr. Hao Song obtained his PhD in biomedical engineering in 2018 from the University of Queensland (UQ), and then worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, UQ. He is an expert in nanobiotechnology, an associate editor of Frontiers in Drug Delivery, has generated 65 journal publications with a total citation of over 3500 times. He has been awarded the Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, UQ Foundation Research Excellence Award, and National Health and Medical Research Council Investigator Grant. His current research focus on the design of functional nanomaterials for efficient delivery of biomolecules such as DNA and mRNA towards vaccine and therapeutic applications. He will work at MIT to develop a long-lasting oral medicine technology that could relieve the patients from high pill burden, allowing a single pill that can work for a week or even a month.

Sarah Strong, a young Australian student, earned her undergraduate degree in the U.S. with honors in Physics, with a minor in Computer Science. She has software engineering experience for global engineering companies, Boeing and Qualcomm. Starting in the Fall, Sarah will pursue a Master’s degree in Quantum Science and Technology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Sarah intends to combine her software experience with Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and her passion for quantum physics to drive the frontier of quantum technology commercialization. She hopes to explore the potential use of FPGAs in simulating quantum computers, aiming to improve accessibility and innovation in quantum algorithm and hardware development. By studying in the U.S., Sarah wants to gain exposure to cutting-edge quantum technology and establish valuable industry connections to bring this experience back to Australia as a leader in the field. Inspired by industry pioneer Michelle Simmons, she hopes to promote diversity and inclusion as a woman in STEM and contribute to shaping the future of technology

Phoebe Thomson has a PhD in Paediatrics from the University of Melbourne, Australia, alongside her undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Applied Mathematics. She has received multiple academic and early career researcher awards, and several publications in leading neuroscience and psychology journals. Phoebe is now a postdoctoral research fellow in the Autism Center at the Child Mind Institute, New York. Phoebe’s current work uses brain connectomics to understand what’s distinct and shared among autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), developmental conditions which affect about 10% of children worldwide. As Phoebe continues to progress in her career, she would like to bring together a group of researchers, clinicians and data professionals using advanced neuroimaging techniques to understand how the brain develops over childhood and adolescence, and work towards her ultimate goal of identifying effective brain markers of autism and ADHD to optimize timely recognition and personalized interventions for these conditions.

An Australian native, Bryan Yuk-Wah Tang spent his first 22 years in Sydney. In 2017, he completed his Bachelors in Science at UNSW with First Class Honours, majoring in chemistry. In 2018, he joined the chemistry graduate program at MIT where he will complete his PhD in 2023. Under the supervision of Professor Yogesh Surendranath, Bryan’s research focuses around understanding and developing efficient methods for converting renewable electricity into hydrogen gas for energy storage. After graduating, Bryan will join the Mason Lab at Harvard as a post-doctoral fellow. There his research will shift away from combating the climate crisis to addressing contemporary issues facing human health. Specifically, he seeks to bridge the technology gap associated with oxygen delivery to human bodies at risk of hypoxia, such as during cardiac arrest. His research will involve developing new biocompatible gas storing nanocrystals that can be injected into the human body for rapid oxygen delivery.

2023 Aurora Education Foundation Scholar

Karri Walker is a proud Nyiyaparli Aboriginal woman. She is the Senior Lawyer at the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria where she is working on the nation’s first Treaty process between First Peoples and the State. Prior to joining the Assembly, Karri worked as a commercial lawyer at a leading Australian commercial law firm. Karri holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.

Karri will pursue a Master of Laws at Harvard Law School focusing on constitutional law, First Nations’ rights and racial justice. It is her goal to use the law to give effect to structural reform which is aimed at First Peoples achieving self-determination and empowerment.

2023 David Nason Journalism Scholar

Kristel Tjandra, PhD, has a long-standing interest in scientific research. After obtaining her Chemistry doctorate from the University of New South Wales, she continued her training as a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University. As a researcher, she has dedicated her effort to understanding cell-drug interactions. Her research ranged from chemotherapy effects in tumor cells to antibiotic susceptibility in drug-resistant bacteria. While pursuing her passion for interdisciplinary science, she discovered a newfound interest in science writing. Some of her writings have been recognized by Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication, given by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in partnership with Schmidt Futures. Through the University of California Santa Cruz Science Communication program, she hopes to further develop her expertise in science communication and journalism.

2023 Round 1 Arts Fund Scholars

‘Dubbo-born tenor Nathan Bryon is completing his Artist Diploma at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Cesar Ulloa. Nathan holds a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was the recipient of Melba Opera Trust’s Ruskin Opera Scholarship from 2020-2022. He is a San Francisco District winner of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition (2023) as well as the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship (2022).

Roles include The Magician (The Consul), and Silvio/Dr. Miracle/Pasquin (Le Docteur Miracle) for SFCM Opera, Il Podestà di Lagonero (La finta giardiniera)  for Operantics and Acis (Acis and Galatea) for Ensemble Polypheme.

Upcoming engagements include ‘Christof’ in Aspen Music Festival’s production of ‘Bel Canto’ by Jimmy Lopez, Tamino in ‘The Magic Flute’ with Livermore Opera, and ‘A Symphonic Christmas’ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.’

Pavle Cajic is a Sydney-based composer, pianist and improvisor. His developing musical language draws eclectic and evolving influences from late Romanticism, Baroque forms, jazz, and music from the Asia Pacific region. Pavle holds a performance degree in piano performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has studied composition with Daniel Rojas, the late Richard Gill, and Brad Gill. Pavle has frequently performed with groups including Dreambox Collective, Voces Caelestium, Norwegian violinist Ole Bohn, and flutist Chloe Chung, with whom he’s just recorded a debut album, ‘Sidere’, of new music and improvisations. Pavle will undertake a Masters degree in music composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), studying with David Conte. There, he will explore new artistic ideas in music composition, study the music of other contemporary composers of different backgrounds, and perform and record his work. The course will culminate in a complete recital of original music.

Laura Dortmans is a ceramic artist, writer, and educator. She is currently completing a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Laura’s studio research explores materiality and material language using clay, steel and the body as tools for expression. Working with experimental processes, her ceramic sculptures speak to the natural architecture of ancient landforms. Laura’s work has been exhibited in Australia, Japan and the USA.

In 2023, Laura received the Emerging Australian Artist Prize from the Australian Consulate-General in New York and presented her first solo exhibition, Perpetual Motion. She has written for the Journal of Australian Ceramics, Buxton Contemporary, and Gippsland Art Gallery. During the final year of her MFA, Laura will refine the material, technical, and conceptual research for her thesis exhibition which will be presented at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art in May 2024.

23-year-old Korean-Australian soprano Gemma Nha recently made her house and role debut as Barbarina (Le nozze di Figaro) at the Volksoper Wien. Other operatic credits include Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Esmeralda (Die verkaufte Braut) in Schlosstheater Schönbrunn, La Conversa I (Suor Angelica) for Juilliard Opera, and Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) with Plus Opera. Concert repertoire include Händel’s Dixit Dominus (Sydney Conservatorium of Music) and Messiah (Fiori Musicali Chamber Choir). Gemma made her professional debut as Tuptim in ‘The King and I’ (Seefestspiele Mörbisch), and performed with Patti Lupone on her ‘Don’t Monkey with Broadway’ tour at the Sydney Opera House. Gemma was a finalist in the 2023 Gerda Lissner International Voice Competition, awarded the Margreta Elkins Encouragement Award by the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation Bel Canto Award, and a 2020 finalist of the Lotte Lenya Competition. Gemma is currently pursuing her Master of Music at The Juilliard School.

Western Sydney artist, Shondelle Pratt, is an internationally accredited intimacy director and pedagog, choreographer, performer, teaching artist, director and theatre Maker

She has worked with Australia’s leading theatre companies including Opera Australia, Ensemble Theatre, Force Majeure, Pacific Opera, The Darlinghurst Theatre Company, David Venn Productions, Squabbalogic, Gordon Frost, Disney, The Really Useful Company, NewTheatricals, Mad March Hare Theatre Company and learning institutions such as the National Institute of Dramatic Art, Actors Centre Australia and JMC Academy.

Shondelle is passionate about the actor’s process with consent, advocacy and inclusion in sculpting vulnerable storytelling. She is focused on learning programs, rehearsal room and film set methodologies which are inclusive of artists with lived experiences of divergency and multicultural/ intercultural practices that can be provided to support artists, crew and creatives within the industry.

Shondelle is a proud member of MEAA.

​She lives and works on the lands of the Dharawal People.

Natalia Raspopova – Australian conductor (b.1982) is currently working as freelance guest conductor and concert pianist. As an active guest conductor, she has enjoyed working with the Monash Academy University Orchestra, Griffith University Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Opera, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Youth Orchestra, Sydney University Symphony Orchestra, Coast Opera Australia and New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra. In 2013 Natalia was selected from a large pool of applicants to be part of the Symphony Services international Conductor Development Program. During 2015-16 Season Natalia joined Queensland Symphony Orchestra as first ever Assistant Conductor, selected from an international pool of seventy applicants. In 2018 Natalia was awarded the Rockend Berlin New Music Opera Award for Young Australians from the Australian Opera Foundation, as well as becoming a recipient of the Brian Stacey Professional Development Award for Conductors. From 2023-2026 Natalia is going to complete her Doctorate Degree in Conducting at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Research area of this degree will be a dissertation on conductor/soloist leading orchestra from their solo instrument of choice: performance craft and effective strategies of rehearsal process.

2023 Indigenous Arts Fund Scholars 

Jamal Wells, a talented and passionate dancer, is embarking on an inspiring journey from Australia to Portland, Oregon, to share the richness and beauty of Australian Aboriginal dance. In 2019, he was honored with the prestigious Youth of the Year award for his exceptional dedication and commitment to his indigenous apprenticeship under Uncle Lewis Burns.

With a deep-rooted connection to his Aboriginal heritage, Jamal has mastered traditional dance forms that carry stories of ancient culture and spirituality. His performances captivate audiences with their grace, rhythm, and profound significance. Through his art, Jamal aims to foster cross-cultural understanding and appreciation, showcasing the diversity and depth of Australian Indigenous traditions.

His accolades as Youth of the Year have not only recognized his talent but also underscored his role as an advocate for preserving and promoting his cultural heritage. As he sets foot on Portland’s soil, Jamal’s journey promises to create meaningful connections and foster a spirit of unity through the power of dance and storytelling.

Lewis Burns, an Australian Aboriginal elder, is a revered figure known for sharing his rich cultural heritage and knowledge for over four decades. His dedication to teaching traditions and culture has made him a beacon of wisdom and education worldwide. As a world-renowned didgeridoo player, Lewis has captivated audiences across the globe with his mesmerizing performances.

Throughout his remarkable journey, Lewis has traveled extensively, leaving an indelible mark on various corners of the world. From the bustling streets of New York to the serene landscapes of Japan, Canada, the USA, France, Italy, Spain, England, and Scotland, his music and teachings have transcended borders and touched hearts.

Lewis Burns’ tireless efforts have bridged cultural gaps, fostering understanding and appreciation for the Indigenous Australian heritage. Through his travels and performances, he has become a true cultural ambassador, leaving a lasting legacy of unity and cultural exchange.

Xavier Wells, an exceptionally talented Aboriginal dancer from Australia, is embarking on a transformative journey to the USA for a cultural exchange. Having achieved the prestigious title of Runner-up Performing Artist of the Year in Dubbo, New South Wales in 2022, Xavier’s prowess and dedication to his craft have been recognized on a national level.

Under the guidance and leadership of his mentor, Uncle Lewis Burns, Xavier has been on a remarkable path of sharing his rich indigenous culture both in Australia and beyond. Alongside his brother Jamal, he has already left a lasting impact through cultural performances in various places, including Italy.

Now, the USA eagerly awaits Xavier’s arrival, eager to experience the mesmerizing rhythms of Aboriginal dance and witness the captivating tales of his heritage. This cultural exchange promises to strengthen bonds, promote mutual understanding, and celebrate the diversity that connects us all. Xavier’s journey represents the power of art in fostering global harmony and unity.

Jamie McLennan is a remarkable Aboriginal dancer and song man who has dedicated his life to teaching and sharing his culture in Australia and beyond. As a passionate educator of Aboriginal culture, he has been instrumental in preserving and promoting the traditions of his people.

Jamie’s expertise and dedication have not gone unnoticed, as he was invited to travel with Lewis Burns to Italy, Scotland, and the USA, showcasing and sharing his culture and stories on an international stage. Through mesmerizing performances and engaging storytelling, he has captivated audiences, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for Aboriginal heritage. Jamie has also won many awards for his efforts such as performing artists of the year 2022.

In addition to his artistic pursuits, Jamie takes immense pride in being a loving father, passing down his cultural knowledge to the next generation. His commitment to educating and empowering others about Aboriginal traditions has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on those he has encountered, both in Australia and across the globe.

Julie Shaw is a Sydney-based fashion designer and proud Yuwaallaraay woman from Lightning Ridge in NSW. She is the Founder and Creative Director of Australian women’s contemporary fashion line Maara Collective.

Since launching into the Australian market in 2019, Julie and her brand have gone on to receive various awards across fashion design and community collaboration for collections designed in partnership with Australian Indigenous artists and creatives. This collaborative approach to design gives the brand a unique perspective, with an inspired take on the unique Australian landscape.

In 2023, Julie will travel to the USA under the American Australian Association’s Indigenous Arts Grant to undertake a program of work in New York with experts in the US fashion industry across fundamental aspects of fashion business. Focusing on wholesale sales, showroom management and freight logistics management, Julie will also conduct extensive international market and design research during this time.

2023 AusArt Scholar 

Ihab S Balla is a visual artist, educator, pharmacist and community development practitioner based in Australia. Across and against mediums, disciplines, and compositions, they are concerned with the anti-disciplinary, autoethnographic synthesis of ideas that contemplate, feel, and map liberatory possibilities. Balla works at the intersection of theory, science, black feminist pedagogy, and collaborative art-making to survey otherwise relational configurations. They have participated in several local and international residencies and teach at the Victorian College of Arts (University of Melbourne). They are the recipient of the Future Generations Scholarship (University of Melbourne), the Ian Potter Emerging Artist grant, and Australia Art Council grant. Balla is currently completing an MFA at Bard College (NY).

2023 Australian Fashion Foundation Scholars 

Olivia Law is an accomplished designer and creative professional with a notable track record of academic achievements. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in design, specialising in Creative Direction and Styling from the esteemed Whitehouse Institute of Design in Sydney, Australia, Olivia’s passion for design became evident early on. During her time at the institute, Olivia’s exceptional talent was recognised, as she was awarded the prestigious Designer of the Year title in her graduating year, in addition to winning the Designer Award on three separate occasions during her studies.

In 2022, Olivia’s dedication and skill were further acknowledged when she received the highly coveted Australian Fashion Foundation Scholarship. Her expertise extends to various areas, including fashion, food, interiors, illustration, and graphic design. Olivia is renowned for her ability to generate ideas and innovative designs, and she has successfully executed numerous photoshoots encompassing diverse creative disciplines. Currently, Olivia is channeling her creative prowess at News Corp Australia as a social media and online producer for Stellar Magazine, where she continues to explore new horizons to make significant contributions to the field.

Kritikon Khamsawat originally hails from a small village in Chiang Mai, Thailand, now is based in Naarm (Melbourne, Australia) is an fashion practitioner that works with body performances in traditional garments and objects. Recently graduated Masters of Fashion Design (2022) at RMIT. Kritikon current practice captivates the context between taking traditional garments and the unorthodox way of dressing in everyday objects. To create a new exaggerated garment form and how it performs on and off the body. Kritikon approaches fashion through the lens of an art from within surrealism, allowing the audience to question and interpret fashion in an unconventional yet organic way, inviting new experiences to the audience and fashion making.

2023 Beverley Art Writers Travel Grant Scholar 

Lauren O’Neill-Butler is a New York-based writer whose book Let’s Have a Talk: Conversations with Women on Art and Culture (Karma, 2021) brings together nearly ninety interviews. A cofounder of the nonprofit magazine November and a former Senior Editor of Artforum magazine, she has also contributed to Aperture, Art JournalBookforum, and The New York Times. In 2020, she received a Warhol Foundation Art Writers Grant. She holds graduate degrees in art history and philosophy and is currently a part-time faculty member at Hunter College and the New School. While visiting Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, and Darug lands (Melbourne and Sydney), she will visit numerous art institutions, schools, and venues to add greater dimensions to her understanding of what makes Australia’s diverse art communities unique from the rest of the world.

2023 Veteran Fund Scholars 

Alwyn Johnson is a supply chain consultant and former Logistics Officer of 10 years of service with the Royal Australian Navy. Alwyn is a veteran of four tours including Afghanistan, anti-piracy and anti-narcotics patrols, and UN peacekeeping.

Alwyn intends to study a Master of Applied Science in Supply Chain Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), including completing research into supply chain sovereignty and resilience in Australia’s defence industry supply chains, focussing on shipbuilding.

With this research Alwyn aims to advance our understanding of sovereignty and resilience in a relevant and timely area, with immediate practical application given the deepening ties between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom in this space.

Following completion of his studies Alwyn will return to Australia and hopes to contribute both to defence supply chain policy, and military supply chain strategy.

Alwyn also holds a Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Applied Finance.

In 2015, Louis Yencken embarked on his professional journey by joining the Australian Army as an infantry soldier, demonstrating his commitment to serving his country. Louis’s dedication led him to deploy to Iraq in 2017 and 2018, where he gained valuable experience.

In 2019, Louis transitioned to the Army Reserves to explore new opportunities while continuing his studies. He embarked on an academic path at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), pursuing an MBA starting in 2020, as well as a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning in 2021. Committed to expanding his knowledge and skill set, Louis thrived in his academic pursuits.

While studying Louis started career in the finance industry. In 2019, he joined Bell Potter Securities as a Dealers Assistant, where he showcased his aptitude for financial operations and investment strategies. Recognizing his potential, Louis transitioned to Morgan Stanley in 2022, assuming the role of an Associate within their Institutional Wealth Management division. His commitment to excellence and strong work ethic contribute to his continued success in the financial sector. In March 2023 Louis was offered a opportunity to study a Master of Science in Finance at the University of Southern California to further enhance his skills and knowledge.

Robert Kerslake spent 16 years within the Australian Army between August 1999 and August 2015. Robert was part of the Royal Australian Regiment at 6RAR for 8 years, During this time he was deployed to East Timor in 2000 under Op Tanager and again in 2003/2004 under Op Citadel. He then transferred to Logistic and RAAOC and did another 8 year. During this time he was deployed to East Timor in 2007 as part of Op Astute.

Robert is currently volunteering at Harrison Gunsmithing and assisting in repairs, maintenance and even the production of a concept rifle for the Australian market. Robert is gaining valuable experience prior to his study in Gunsmithing.

Robert intends to study gun smithing at Yavapai College in Arizona. He plans to use this to move into the Film and Television industry.


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