Burgmann College PRINT 80

Ben Chen's Story

An opportunity to shine

Ben chen portrait square 0

I am a first-generation immigrant from a non-English speaking country. As is often the case for new Australians, I went to a public high school in the Inner West of Sydney while my mother, who raised me alone, worked multiple jobs to give us a better life. Although my high school wasn’t known for its academic performance, it made me feel incredibly welcome and I met plenty of good people there.

A Bursary from Burgmann and the opportunity to live on campus attracted me to become a Burgmann resident.

Living with like-minded individuals in a highly supportive environment was the perfect transition to adulthood. I made lifelong friends from all walks of life. The academic support provided by the residential advisors/tutors and the opportunity to study with other residents also helped me tackle a challenging degree program.

The College community and College life had a huge impact on me, my studies and my career.

I received a Bursary for three years, which enabled me to live on campus without having to work long hours. It allowed me to focus on my studies, achieve good grades, and participate in various events and student societies. To my best knowledge, the Bursary program supported not only me, but also several other residents from a variety of backgrounds. The Bursary recipients all went on to take on leadership positions at Burgmann, the ANU and elsewhere. I therefore think that the Bursary program added both diversity and leadership potential to the overall fabric of the College community.

I completed a combined BEc (Hons) LLB (Hons) between 2008 and 2013, a GDLP in 2014 and then a PhD in economics between 2014 and 2018. I was offered a place at the ANU and several other comparable universities, and chose the ANU because a Bursary from Burgmann made it possible for me to live on campus. I am currently living in Sydney and working as an academic at the University of Sydney Law School.

I would like to say a big thank you to the donors. Your donations had allowed me to transition from a relatively disadvantaged background to one of the most highly sought-after professions in the world. Without your donations, I would not have been able to obtain degrees from a prestigious university and get on a strong career trajectory. I am enormously grateful for your contributions to the Bursary Fund and just want you to know that you have had a life-changing impact on me and other Bursary recipients. To potential donors, I hope that you will assist the Bursary Fund to give a shot to countless young people who just need an opportunity to shine.

Ben Chen (2008-2012)
Burgmann Bursary Recipient