RECEIVING a Tuckwell Scholarship is not just about your intellect.
It is about your desire and determination to use your natural abilities, if given the opportunity, to realise your full potential and make a difference in the world.
St Philip's Christian College year 12 student Brandon Smith has become the Port's first Tuckwell Scholarship winner.
"I was overwhelmed when the Tuckwells [Graham and Louise] rang me personally to say I was successful," he said.
"I was stuck for words ... it such a great honour but I did remember to thank them."
The scholarship, in its third year, is worth $21,700 a year for the next five years, plus flights to and from the Australia National University in Canberra to Smith's Boat Harbour home.
"I have always been interested in international affairs and human rights issues so my plan was to study law and international security studies at the ANU," Mr Smith said. "I came across the Tuckwell scholarship while researching the university online and decided to apply."
He was pitted against 740 other applicants across Australia and after a gruelling application process which included no less than 10 interviews, written applications and references, he was one of just 25 selected.
"I met Graham and Louise during the interview process ... they were looking for people with leadership qualities and a willingness to make a difference," Mr Smith said. "I certainly hope I can live up to that challenge."
St Philip's school principal Dr Tim Petterson said the entire staff and students were proud of his achievements.
"Brandon is not only school dux but also a very caring and community minded student. He is also an active sportsman and musician and most deserving of this scholarship," Dr Petterson said.