Ashley McKay memorial bursary to advance agricultural advocates

Beef Central, 13/07/2023

A new bursary has been launched in honour of the late cattle producer and industry advocate Ashley McKay OAM to provide academic and professional development opportunities for year 12 students and individuals engaged in the agricultural sector.

The Ashley McKay Memorial Bursary will be awarded to two individuals per year and is funded by the Australian Horizons Foundation and proudly administered by Property Rights Australia (PRA).

“PRA is honoured to be working with the Australian Horizons Foundation to help identify future leaders wanting to pursue academic studies in science and helping develop future advocates for the Australian agriculture industry,” Property Rights Australia chair Jim Willmott said.

Australian Horizons Foundation (AHF) is dedicated to supporting rural Australian communities by distributing funds raised through its’ major raffles program, to rural focused community groups and other charities.

Chair and co-founder, John Bethel, expressed the Foundation’s mission to support and advance the rural sector.

“Education is the key to everything” he said, “We are delighted to partner with PRA to administer this bursary. It will provide practical financial assistance to individuals with a passion for Ag and a commitment to the rural sector.”

AHF believes this is a terrific way to not only recognise Ashley’s enormous impact, but to create pathways for others through tertiary study, and opportunities to develop advocacy skills. “The future is in the hands of our young. We need to encourage and support their educations, and empower more rural advocates. This bursary will help achieve that ” Mr Bethel said.

Dale Stiller, PRA Vice Chairman remembers Ashley McKay as generous mentor to himself and a rare advocate for rural Australia. “Ashley from a significant contribution over many decades was able to apply knowledge and context to meet the current challenges of the day,” Mr Stiller said.

Joanne Rea, PRA Treasurer was a long-time colleague and friend of Ashley McKay both on previous PRA Boards and Cattlemen’s Union committee.

“Rarely does one meet anyone with all the qualities Ashley held. He was intelligent, a critical thinker, a hard worker, an advocate for industry, and he stood his ground,” Mrs Rea said.

The first bursary is targeted at Year 12 students having recently completed high school, to undertake a rangeland science or similar degree/diploma. The second bursary is focused on someone who has been engaged in the Australian agricultural sector who wishes to (1) improve their skills, and (2) better advocate for their industry.

Initially the Bursary will target applicants in the Northern Territory, Queensland and the Kimberly and Pilbara regions of Western Australia.

Please send your expression of interest including: (1) name, (2) email, (3) contact number, and (4) nominate which Bursary you are interested in applying for to

More details regarding the Bursary application process will be announced via the PRA website and Facebook page and the Australian Horizons Foundation.


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