A determination to break down the stigma of autism has seen Flinders University’s Ella Keegan honoured with a national student award thanks to her exceptional academic performance and contribution to areas including student mentoring and social welfare.
Ms Keegan, who is studying third-year psychology this year, took the top award in the Pearson Student of the Year Awards in the Social Sciences and Psychology category.
Category judge, Bruce Findlay, from Swinburne University, said her video had impressed the panel, and commented on Ms Keegan’s creative use of imagery.
“I’m happy to see Ella Keegan get the award,” said Mr Findlay. “I liked her presentation, from the clever use of graphics, to the clarity with which she articulated responses to the criteria.”
Ms Keegan said her studies at Flinders had contributed to her passion for helping people and had inspired her to begin working with autistic children.
“One of my lecturers at Flinders encouraged me to train as an ABA Therapist and I now have a job that I love, working with children with autism,” she said.
“In this role, I’ve been able to help children by assisting with respite care, social groups for children with autism and giving ABA therapy in homes, schools and in the clinic.”
The Pearson Student of the Year Awards aim to recognise students who have demonstrated outstanding effort, dedication and academic achievement in their chosen field of study.
Students must be nominated by an academic from their course, and are required to submit a short video presentation.
The winner of each category is determined by a panel of subject matter experts and will receive a $1,000 award.
Ella’s short presentation can be found here.
For more information on the Pearson Student of the Year Awards, please visit the awards website.
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