Scholarship continues passion for education

A passion and dedication to geography and mapping has earned The Hills Shire Council’s Senior Spatial Systems officer Chunhua Zhang a scholarship from the Prime Minister to study for a PhD at the University of Queensland.

Chunhua has studied Geographical Information Systems (GIS) at the South China Agricultural University in her hometown of Guangzhou and a Masters of GIS in Canada at the University of Calgary.

Chunhua moved to Queensland with her partner and then to Sydney to take up a job at Council where she produces maps based on geographical data.
The Endeavour Scholarship is offered to high-achieving students throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

It offers students the opportunity to travel abroad and complete their education on a full scholarship while strengthening bonds between Asia-Pacific nations.
Chunhua said she was honoured to be selected for the Endeavour Scholarships Prime Minister’s Award and planned to use the education to move a step closer to her dream of becoming a Professor of geographical information systems.

“I really am honoured to receive the scholarship,” Ms Zhang said.

“Education has taken me from being a humble village girl to becoming an international student. I’m living my dreams through education and if I can do it, many other young people can too. It just takes commitment.

“I want to be an ambassador for Australian education in my home country of China.”

Chunhua said she’s enjoyed the challenge of working with Australian systems, which are quite different to what she was used to in China.

“The Hills is a very interesting place because you have a mix of urban and rural and it makes it challenging and educational.

“I want to teach what I’ve learnt to young students and share my passion for geography and mapping.”

Council’s General Manager Dave Walker congratulated Chunhua on her achievements.

“We’re very proud to have employees like Chunhua working for Council and I want to congratulate her on her wonderful achievements. I wish her all the best throughout her studies and career,” Mr Walker said.