Student Scholarship

2024 WITH Tas Scholarship Winner

Every year the Scholarship Interview Panel welcomes a number of dedicated young women, passionate about our industry. Whilst the Panel relishes the opportunity to meet them all, the final selection can be difficult when faced with outstanding candidates. That's why an Encouragement Award is presented when there is a second outstanding candidate - like this year! Meet Ardelia Hadwidjaja and Lakmi Hansik.

Meet Ardelia Hadwidjaja

Ardelia is studying a Cert IV in Kitchen Management at Frontier Education and will pursue a Diploma of Hospitality Management in 2025. She's also a volunteer cook on board the Lady Nelson, a highly valued team member at  Willie Smith's and getting hands-on experience through a work placement at Tesoro Restaurant.

With over a decade of accounting and financial experience together with more than 5 years owning and managing restaurants in Indonesia, Ardelia can approach Kitchen Management with a strategic mindset. This mixes well with her clear passion for the culinary arts and hospitality that shines through her work and study references, variously being described as enthusiastic, committed, having strong work ethic and collaborative.

Ardelia plans to set up her own food truck specialising in Indonesian and Asian cuisine, crafted from 100% Tasmanian products and, in the future, expand her business to offer students practical experience and business management training, giving back to the sector.

Congratulations Ardelia, the WITH Tas committee looks forward to providing mentoring and support for you throughout the year and watching you flourish.

There's more to Ardelia's story here >

Ardelia Hadwidjaja

" Ardelia very quickly become an integral, reliable and hard-working member of the kitchen team. I can see a bright future for her here in Hobart in the hospitality world and can’t wait to watch her flourish as a chef. "
Katherine Marsden, Willie Smith's

2024 WITH Tas Encouragement Award winner

Meet Lakmi Hansika

Lakmi Hansika describes herself as “a Sri Lankan with a fiery passion for cooking and crafting unforgettable culinary experiences with a Sri Lankan twist”.

With a background spanning Dubai, Sri Lanka and Tasmania, Lakmi is highly trained in hospitality including through her roles at Burj Al Arab and as a flight attendant at Flydubai. She is now working to further develop her knowledge of cooking techniques, food safety and kitchen management through a TasTAFE Diploma in Hospitality.

Already motivated, Lakmi has set up her own catering business Ceylon Crew which is operating around her work placement hours at Farzi and Crowne Plaza.

Congratulation Lakmi, the WITH Committee looks forward to supporting you through the year and seeing Ceylon Crew develop its Sri Lankan twist.

Lakmi Hansika


Since 2013, Women in Tourism & Hospitality Tasmania (WITH) has been investing in, and connecting with, the next generation of women passionate about working in our industry by offering an annual student scholarship.

In the years since, $1,000 has been awarded annually to assist with the undertaking of tourism and/or hospitality studies at post-secondary level. To encourage professional development and career progression, the scholarship package provides:

  • $1,000 awarded in November, at the end of the study year.
  • Mentoring and peer support throughout the year.
  • Access to a network of supportive women.
  • Access to wider networks of industry contacts.
  • Attendance at three WITH Tas events, including a Management Committee meeting.
  • Supported attendance at an industry event when available.

We have confidence in the future of the tourism and hospitality industry in our state, particularly as the following scholarship recipients go on to fulfil their career aspirations.

WITH Tas thanks Tourism Tasmania for their sponsorship of the Scholarship award since 2019.

Our Northern Branch has also offered student scholarships at times - WITH North contact details here >

2023 WITH Tas Scholarship Winner

Each year our scholarship interview panel unearths talented, professional and committed young women, each studying hard to fulfil their aspirations for a career in tourism and hospitality. This year was no different, particularly our 2023 scholarship recipient - Upuli Prabhashini Pathirana.

Upuli is currently studying Certificate III in Hospitality at TasTAFE and on a pathway to the program of Bachelor of Business – Hospitality Management at UTAS.  She has a passion for customer service, beginning her career in 2008 as a Travel Assistant. She rose to a professional level to become a Training Specialist in Hospitality and Tourism at BCD Travel, teaching and training people in customer service and improving their skills. Upuli has gone on to gain local and international experience, including in Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates.

Upuli says "Tasmania is an island of creative and curious minds, and it has a welcoming and collaborative community with amazing nature. As a person who loves to travel, explore nature and meet people, it will be a great opportunity to live in Tasmania. My goal in my professional life is to become a restaurant owner and to be a part of the positive change in Hospitality and Tourism. My personal goal is to build a better future for my children, be an excellent role model, while also providing quality time with my family."

Congratulations Upuli - WITH Tas looks forward to supporting you through this coming year and beyond.

Read more about Upuli here

Previous recipients

2022 WITH Tas Scholarship Winner

Once again the calibre of applicants was high but Eve Wang immediately impressed the interview panel with her "amazingly positive spirit and energy that lights up the room, and lifts up those around her".

Her passion for food, sense of community and ethos of working hard to achieve her dreams were also very evident.

Eve is already on her way to achieving her goal of developing her own uniquely Tasmanian brand of croissants, working on perfecting her recipe and having established a small business.

There's a lot to this young woman with a genuine sense of community and passion for Tasmanian food.

2022 Encouragement Award

This award is only given when recommended by the interview panel to recognise a second outstanding applicant.

Originally from France and then working in the Central West wine regions of NS, Yoana Lemonnier says that "Tasmania was where I decided to call this land home".

Yoana's dream is to become a Sommelier and whilst the wine-tasting aspect of her studies was in abeyance due to the birth of her first child, she continued her studies for an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality, Tourism and Events at Drysdale TasTAFE, believing many aspects are  intrinsically linked to the role .

Read more about these outstanding young women and the reason why we're optimistic about the future of our industry

2021 WITH Tas Scholarship Winner

Our 2021 interview panel described Katy Usher as resilient, focused and grounded with a strong drive to succeed in the industry and a clear and committed passion for tourism.

Although holding a B.SC (Hons) in Analytical Chemistry gained in her home country of Scotland, Katy’s first love is the outdoors. After travelling extensively, it’s no wonder then that she’s made her home here in Tasmania where she believes some of the best activities in the country are found.

Katy's been in tourism and hospitality since the age of 18 with jobs varying from waitressing and bar tending to wildlife guiding and deck handing. Since 2019, she’s been working for Gordon River Cruises as a deck hand and guide, loving the experience of sharing the World Heritage Wilderness with visitors.

When she completes her Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management in October 2021, Katy aims to continue her professional development with further management/leadership courses and eventually gain her Marine Engine Driver qualifications.

Congratulations Katy!

2021 Encouragement Award

The calibre of applications this year was once again very high, boding well for the future of our industry and warranting a $500 Encouragement Award.

Rebecca Payne is a Year 12 student at Elizabeth College studying Tourism Vet Certificate II where, according to her tutor, she has regularly demonstrated her passion for the industry. Her plans are to continue her tourism studies in 2022 with a Certificate 3 Tourism and Certificate 3 in Guiding. To support the development of her tourism career path, Rebecca currently works at SMOLT Kitchen, no doubt making the most of every opportunity to learn!

Rebecca impressed our interview panel with her initiative and understanding of creating and taking opportunities. She’s practical with her approach, wanting to learn from well-established businesses and surround herself with great mentors.

Ultimately her goal is to start her own tourism business on the family’s East Coast property – we believe that she has the drive and initiative to do just that.

Rebecca will receive the $500 Award on successful completion of her studies and scholarship commitments to WITH Tas at the end of the year.

2020 WITH Tas Scholarship Winner

Lily Pursell impressed the interview panel with her great enthusiasm, drive and commitment to pursuing a career in the tourism industry and is a very worthy recipient of this year's scholarship.

Lily is a Year 12 student studying VET subjects at Guildford Young College. She completed the Certificate II in Tourism in 2019 and this year (2020)  is studying for Certificates II in Hospitality, Kitchen Operations and Business, as well as undertaking a school-based traineeship with the Parks & Wildlife Service. Up until recently she also had casual work at Pancake by the Ponds in the Derwent Valley.

Lily's goals are to complete further qualifications in tourism and hospitality, secure full-time work and achieve a management position in the industry, then eventually running her own business.  Read more about Lily here

Lily Pursell, winner of the 2020 WITH Tas scholarship

2020 Encouragement Awards

Due to the high calibre of applicants this year, the WITH Tas Committee has decided to present two Encouragement Awards of $500 each. Caitlin Foale, studying for the Certificate III in Tourism at Drysdale TasTAFE and Thais Sousa, studying for the Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at registered training organisation, Frontier Education, both displayed strong motivation and ability to succeed in the tourism/hospitality industry.

In recognition of their potential they will each receive $500 on completion of their studies at the end of the year.

WITH Tas thanks Tourism Tasmania for its support of our major scholarship which has also allowed us to present the Encouragement Awards.

Read an update on our 2020 winners here

Caitlin Foale - 2020 Scholarship Encouragement Award Winner
Thais Gsousa - 2020 Scholarship Encouragement Award

2019: Nilarach (Joy) Varahakaporn
Joy holds a Cert IV in patisserie and hospitality and is currently studying for a Cert IV in Commercial Cookery at Frontier Education. She moved to Hobart from Melbourne after visiting Hobart where the city took her breath away. Joy's ultimate dream is to own her own business but along the way she takes inspiration from Tasmania's many talented chefs and the state's vibrant food culture. Read more about Joy here >

2018: Grace Woolford 
Grace is a year 12 student studying both tourism and hospitality at Guilford Young College and is in her third year as a VET hospitality student. She is currently completing certificate II in Tourism, Kitchen Operations and Hospitality (Front of House). When she finishes college at the end of 2019, Grace intends to start a pastry apprenticeship in Hobart which she is very much looking forward too. With the help of the WITH Tas scholarship she will be able to complete her apprenticeship and then travel with the skills obtained.

2017: Jacinta Lang
Jacinta completed her TasTafe studies in 2017 and is now enjoying working with the passionate and award-winning team at Pennicott Wilderness Journeys.

2016: Katherine Halliday and Molly Hutcheon
Following a career in event management and part-time study, Katherine completed her degree at the University of Tasmania and so impressed them, they offered her a job!
Molly Hutcheon received an Encouragement Award of $5oo towards her studies. After gaining hospitality experience including at Macq01, Molly is off travelling the world gaining life experience.

2015: Susie Serpanos
Susie studied at TasTAFE and continues to work in the hospitality industry.

2014: Katy Delaney
Katy completed her Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management in 2015, and continued to work directly in the industry until 2019 in a variety of roles, from General Manager to F&B Attendant. The support from WITH during Katy's studies meant she was able to move forward in her career and was better equipped to take advantage of mentors and the experience they provided. Katy is now Office Manager and a Hospitality POS Solutions Consultant and putting the lessons learned to good use.

2013: Kristiana Timson

2019 WITH Tas Scholarship winner - Nilarach (Joy) Nilarach (Joy) Varahakapornarahakaporn
Grace Woolford, WITH Tas 2018 Scholarship winner
Jacinta Long 2018 scholarship winner and Rita Warrener
Katherine Halliday 2016 Scholarship winner and WITH Tas President Jane Johnston