The 2020 Groom Scholarship winner is Tom Claydon, a second-year Bachelor of Secondary Education student at the University of Southern Queensland.
Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio announced the award at the Picnic Point Australia Day ceremony.
Mayor Antonio said Tom is an outstanding winner who has been a leader in the community, particularly in sport and education.
“The 21-year-old former St Joseph student is the type of role model we look at for those wanting to make our region a better place,” Mayor Antonio said.
“While still a student, Tom is already using his skills as a teacher aide at Highfields State Secondary College, where he works three days a week.
“Using his role as a teacher aide, Tom has been able to coach and be the assistant coach to senior and junior boys’ and girls’ basketball teams.
“It is his work with community groups that really shone, particularly the Coolaroo Football Club where he is a vice-captain for the senior men’s team, coaches the Coolaroo under 12’s team and volunteers for the club.”
Scholarship winner, Tom Claydon said that working with the Coolaroo Football Club has provided him with a lifetime of memories and opportunities to improve his coaching and football skills.
“An important part of my role with the club is introducing children to AFL. It is so rewarding to see new players fall in love with the sport,” Mr Claydon said.
“The position I am with the club has taught me discipline, teamwork and communication skills and this will set me up for life’s challenges.
“I am proud to be a part of such a great organisation. The club is like a family, and I enjoy meeting new players because they teach me something new each time.”
Tom acknowledges the support he has received from the club and those that have guided him along the way.
Mayor Antonio said the William Groom Scholarship is awarded each year to an outstanding student. Tom Claydon has excelled in sports and education and is passing on new skills to the next generation.
Information about the William Groom Scholarship
The William Groom Scholarship has been awarded since 2004. The $5000 scholarship honours the many achievements of the municipality’s first mayor William Henry Groom.
The scholarship is open to 18 - 24-year-olds, who are commencing their second or third year of a full-time USQ degree course or TAFE Queensland South West diploma. The Toowoomba Regional Council offers this scholarship as a way to acknowledge young students’ achievements to the local community. The scholarship provides $5,000 to the successful applicant.
Successful applicants must be able to demonstrate the following:
- Sound academic achievement in all subjects attempted in the first and/or second year of their course.
- A record of community involvement in local organisations that may include sport, arts, cultural and charitable groups.
- Graduation from a local high school, having attended for two years and reside in the Toowoomba Regional Council area.
- Intention to continue in a full-time course of study next year.
Previous winners include engineers, business managers, nurses, musicians, journalists, solicitors, teachers, actors and student ambassadors.
For more information about the William Groom scholarship, visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/groomscholarship.