23 March 2024

Griffith scholarship winner vows to use her skills to address ‘rural injustice’

| Oliver Jacques
Join the conversation
Sophia Pierroti as the University of Sydney.

Sophia Pierroti at the University of Sydney. Photo: Supplied.

A recent Murrumbidgee Regional High School graduate has been awarded a much sought-after scholarship to help her with her university studies in Sydney.

Sophia Pierotti won the Andrew Craig Engineering Scholarship from Flavourtech, a local company that works with food and drink manufacturers to refine and enhance their products.

The grant was established to help students who live away from home and undertake engineering-related courses in expensive big cities. It will assist Ms Pierotti with living and academic costs while she studies a Bachelor of Project Management at the University of Sydney.

Despite being just 19, she already has an impressive resume. After graduating from school in 2022, she worked as a cellar hand for a South Australian winery and as an electorate officer during her gap year for local State MP Helen Dalton.

Sophia Pierroti in parliament

Sophia Pierroti at a leadership event at Parliament House. Photo: Supplied.

Ms Pierotti is passionate about what she calls “rural injustice”. Her life goal is to improve education, health and living standards in regional areas.

“I want to come back to Griffith or another regional town after university to use my skills here,” she said.

Region profiled the ambitious 19-year-old as part of our series that looks at recent Griffith high school graduates doing amazing things in 2024.

Name: Sophia Pierotti

Age: 19

Primary school and high school: Beelbangera Public and Wade High.

Best memory of school: Probably the last week; we organised all these fun activities, like dress-ups and a slip and slide down Collina Oval.

Sophia Pierroti running

Sophia Pierroti also excels at athletics. Photo: Supplied.

Naughtiest thing you ever did at school: See previous answer. Everyone in my school would probably say the same thing.

Teachers that inspired you: Mr Slavin was a fantastic biology teacher. Mrs Casey, my community and family studies teacher and Mr Chapman, my physics teacher, were great too.

One thing you’d change about the education system: Regional areas getting more resources. Griffith doesn’t have enough incentives to attract teachers. At university, you meet a lot of kids who went to private schools, they had everything handed to them on a platter, but we really are made to struggle. The merger of Murrumbidgee High School could’ve been good, but it wasn’t executed well.

Famous person you most admire and why: Lorde, the singer, I don’t really admire her, but I love her music.

What do you miss most about Griffith: My family and my friends, and the Italian food and mum’s cooking.

What don’t you miss about Griffith: It’s so far from the beach.

Best advice you ever got from your parents: Work hard and take every opportunity you can get. Don’t be embarrassed to try hard.

Social issue you most care about: Inequalities in regional areas. The health care and education system really frustrates me.

Plans after university: I’d like to come back to Griffith or another regional town.

Special skills: I played the clarinet when I was younger; I love netball, athletics and swimming. I went on something called Young Endeavour in my gap year where I went out on a ship for 10 days and learned a lot of leadership and teamwork.

Dream career job: To work in construction or to improve rural health.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.