Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW
Warrane College UNSW | college accommodation for students at UNSW

Scholarship winner has a passion for learning

Liam Warbuton

Rural scholarship winner Liam Warburton had a thirst for knowledge from his earliest years which helped him to excel during his school years at Leeton High School both in academic achievement and school leadership.

“My passion for learning began when I was quite young and my parents had purchased a set of educational books, ranging from educational stories for children to fully fledged encyclopaedias,” he said.

“I had read them all at least twice by the time I started high school. Since then, I often find myself using a lot of time just browsing Wikipedia, clicking from one link to the next, always learning something new.”

Liam was consistently placed first in most of his subjects at school, including Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1, Physics, Chemistry, Business Studies and Economics. He received the School Education Director’s Award for Outstanding Achievements in Academic and Cultural Pursuits and was awarded the Integral Rural Financial Services Award for Excellence in Science.

The high regard of his fellow students saw him elected school captain at Leeton High in 2012. In that position he carried out many leadership roles, including leading the school during Anzac Day functions and in fundraising efforts.

On fundraising he recalls: “I began designating duties to my fellow classmates and communicated what we needed to do, how we were going to do it and kept people focused on the end goal: raising money for charity.

“It was a great experience being a leader, considering I wasn’t initially going to run for school prefect or captain. I learnt to effectively work in a team, either as it’s leader or as a simple participant, to achieve the end goal.”

One of the fundraising projects was to raise money for the family of a young boy at school with leukaemia to help with travel and medical expenses.

“As captain, it was my duty to organise the fundraising days at carnivals and the biggest community fundraiser — with town businesses,” Liam said. “We ended up raising over $2500. Presenting the cheque to his mother was one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life.”

During his school years, Liam excelled at debating and public speaking. From 2011 to 2012, he was school Mock Trial Team Coordinator and Debating Team Leader. Other interests include photography and swimming. He has been a Senior Club Member at the Leeton Amateur Swimming Club and participated in the CHS State Championships as part of the male all-age relay team representing the Riverina in multiple individual events.

At UNSW Liam has enrolled in medicine (Bachelor of medical studies/Doctor of Medicine, BMed/MD).

“From the earliest age I have had a passion for science,” he said. “And once I became mature enough to comprehend the world’s vices and its virtues, I had the desire to make it into a better place. My philanthropic nature made me certain I needed to pursue a career that involved helping people.

“These two passions culminated in Medicine. I walked out of a check-up and said to my mother: ‘I could do that. I think I would be good at that.’ After that point, I began researching medical careers and fell in love with the idea of becoming a doctor.”

Liam also loves reading.

“The most recent book I’ve read was Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea,” he said, “a simply written but highly thought-provoking exploration of man’s interaction with his environment.

“Although I don’t think I could say I have a favourite, Orwell’s Animal Farm and Harper’s To Kill a Mockingbird come to mind as some of best.”