Life-Changing Impact

The chance to study at UTS has had a life-changing impact for students Ghand Hamadeh, Safa Rahimi and Joel Cama.

The chance to study at UTS has had a life-changing impact for students Ghand Hamadeh, Safa Rahimi and Joel Cama.

At UTS, we believe every student should be given an opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstances. However, for many students, this is only possible through the generosity of the UTS community – our staff, students, alumni and donors.

It’s clear to see in students such as Ghand Hamadeh, who escaped the Syrian conflict and has been adjusting to life and study in Australia.

“I remember once I was coming home from high school, and I was waiting in the bus for some kids to be dropped off,” she recalls. “Then we heard gunshots from the other side. Explosions. It was terrible.”

Ghand Hamadeh, Safa Rahimi and Joel CamaClick here to donate to the Annual Appeal

When Ghand first arrived in Australia she had no job, no English language skills, and only the kindness of an uncle to help her adjust to her life in a new country. After completing a bridging course at TAFE, she enrolled in an Events Management degree at UTS – but her challenges continued.

“When I first started studying at UTS, I couldn’t afford any of the textbooks,” she says. “I actually failed my first assignment because I didn’t have them.”

All of that changed when Ghand was selected to receive a scholarship from UTS which enabled her to continue her studies and provided essential study resources. “All of my assignments are now achieving a credit or distinction. That’s amazing.”

The same can be seen in Indigenous student Joel Cama, who considered dropping out of a degree in International Studies because he wasn’t sure he could afford it.

“Moving from Lithgow to Sydney was a big wake-up call for me,” he says, “My parents aren’t that well off… and it can be challenging for many students to keep financially afloat.”

Joel now receives a scholarship from UTS, and he is quick to recognise the transformative effects it has had on his life. “As soon as I got it, every worry just dropped and I could focus on what I needed to do. I’m nowhere near as stressed,” he says.

Importantly, Joel can also see how the scholarship has given him a clearer vision of what he wants to achieve. “I want to work in elite sport,” he explains. “I want to use sports as a platform to correct social injustices. Someone once told me that we’re getting help now so that we can help others later on. I’m 100 per cent behind that.”

Now Joel Cama has dreams for the future


Indeed, some of our students have taken things a step further and are already doing that.

Safa Rahimi, a law student at UTS, provides free legal assistance to vulnerable individuals and is also working with the Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association and the Australian Refugee Volunteers.

“My motivation to be involved within these activities and organisations stems from an understanding that my university and community will benefit from my involvement,” she says. “It is important to me to contribute to causes and ideals that I appreciate and respect.”

An Afghan refugee from Pakistan, Safa also receives a scholarship from UTS to help her with her studies. In future, she hopes to use her skills to “contribute positively and meaningfully back to my community.”

You can help us continue to give other students like Ghand, Joel and Safa similar opportunities by contributing to the 2016 UTS Annual Appeal. This year, the appeal is raising money for the Diversity Access Scholarship, raising money to provide disadvantaged students with essential financial assistance for their study needs, through the UTS Diversity Access Scholarship.

Last year, thanks to the generosity of UTS graduates, we received 1,066 pledges of financial support, raising over $60,000. This essential support is now helping to provide a world-class education for students like Ghand, Joel and Safa. Even now, there is no shortage of students who urgently need support, and this year we are hoping to raise more than $100,000 to be able to assist them.


Donate Now


All donations of AUD$2 or more are tax deductible.  You can also be confident that 100% of your gift will directly benefit students facing financial hardship, as all administration costs are covered.

We are enormously appreciative of the ongoing generosity of the UTS community, and thank you for your support.