MEMBER for Glass House Andrew Powell has announced Mt Mee local Mikayla Crouch the 2021 winner of the annual $1,000 Joyce Newton OAM Memorial Bursary.
Mikayla was one of three applicants interviewed by a panel consisting of Mr Powell, Mrs Newton’s daughter Jennifer Tunley and the Sunshine Coast Business Council’s Sandy Zubrinich.
“Mikayla epitomises the spirit in which the bursary was established,” Mr Powell said.
Raised on a Mt Mee dairy farm, Mikayla is keen to pursue a career in agriculture and environmental sustainability to show the world that farmers love and care for their environment.
As an indication of how tight the competition was between the three finalists, the panel decided to award bursaries of $750 each to the two runners-up – Leo de Clara of Beerburrum, who attends St Joseph’s Nudgee College, and Chelsea-Ann Johnson of Peachester, who attends Glasshouse Christian College.
The three winners received vouchers to Concept IT at Maleny.
Mr Powell said he was incredibly grateful to the Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) and Sunshine Coast Business Council (SCBC), which were co-sponsors.
FAN communications manager Nicole McNaughton said Leo was immediately likeable, confident and balanced.
“We loved that he was committed to contributing his university experience back into the region and into farming.” Nicole said.
“Leo believes his studies in finance and law will ensure future agricultural success in the region – and that’s what FAN is all about.”
SCBC chair Sandy Zubrinich said Chelsea-Ann was also seen as being decisive and knew what she wanted to do with her life.
“She has a sense of humour and sense of humility, is well-grounded, appreciative of her opportunities and wants to make a difference in the lives of children, particularly disadvantaged children.
“All three, Mikayla, Leo and Chelsea-Ann, are extraordinary and we are hoping they will come on board as SCBC youth ambassadors,” Sandy said.
Main image: Andrew Powell congratulates Chelsea-Ann Johnson