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

Young Lad Wins Rural Engineering Award

Jack Mcfae (Left) and Rohan Stocker (Right) graduating together

The Winner of this year’s Warrane College Rural Engineering Residential Award, Jack McRae, was presented with his scholarship last month in the presence of his mum and dad, John and Barbara, who travelled to Sydney from Young for the event.

It was a great moment for the family which has a tradition of sheep grazing stretching back for three generations. Jack’s dad continues the family tradition on their property which presently grazes about 700 sheep and his mum works as a nurse.

Although Jack says he wouldn’t mind following in his father’s footsteps, at present he is fully committed to pursuing his degree in Civil Engineering at UNSW, possibly opening up the opportunity to use his new professional skills back in Young.

“I am hoping to broaden my options in the long term,” he said, “but I must admit that I really do love country life.”

Jack was educated at Hennessy Catholic College, a very successful regional centre of education founded by the Presentation Sisters and Christian Brothers in 1925. The last of the Christian brothers only left the school at the end of Jack’s last year, in 2010.

Like many of the other students in his year, Jack excelled academically. Around 20 per cent of them gained ATARs above 80. Many earned places in universities across NSW, enrolling in a range of disciplines, including medicine, physiotherapy, veterinary science, actuarial studies, education and, like Jack, in engineering.

Jack is also a keen, all-round sportsman. He played cricket for the school team, as well as tennis, and represented the school in athletics and swimming.

He was also a member of the school band, playing trumpet.

He says he hasn’t been able to play his favourite instrument much since arriving at Warrane, but did manage to return home last Anzac day to play it in Young’s remembrance ceremonies.

Jack has already represented Warrane in inter-college cricket and soccer and is hoping to play for the university cricket team next season.

He said one of the main things he likes about College life is getting to meet so many students from different academic and cultural backgrounds.

“I have met a lot of impressive people at Warrane,” he said “Many of them are from other countries and a lot are taking different courses to me. It’s really interesting hearing where they have been and what they are hoping to do in the future.”

Jack has also been able to take advantage of Warrane’s extensive program of distinguished guest speakers. This year they have included the Executive Chairman of Ord Minnett, Karl Morris, the son of former Deputy Prime Minister Lionel Bowen, barrister Anthony Bowen, the Vice Chancellor of Macquarie University, Professor Steven Schwartz, Director of the Sydney Melanona Unit, Professor John Thompson, TV current affairs producer and public relations consultant Peter Wilkinson and advertising executive Peter Harris.

The College is expanding its scholarships program, and this year awarded four rural scholarships in addition to the Rural Engineering Award. These went to David Brown of Table Top, Shannon Fadaee of Orange , Sam Williams, and Owen Walsh.