SOUTHERN Ports has partnered with Curtin University to offer the Steve Lewis Regional Scholarship, named after the ports’ former CEO.

The scholarship aims to financially support a current or future student in their education and offer paid vacation work or mentoring with Southern Ports.

It would provide up to $112,000 over four years for a student from Western Australia’s Great Southern, South West or Goldfields-Esperance regions.

Southern Ports’ current CEO Keith Wilks said it was an exciting opportunity for regional students.

“We’re so pleased to offer this scholarship to support those based in our regions to not only complete an undergraduate degree, but also offer them valuable port industry experience and mentoring,” he said.

“We know from our own workforce that we have exceptional people based in the regions, so we’re keen to provide every opportunity to develop future employment skills and opportunities for those from these areas.”

Southern Ports launched the Steve Lewis Regional Scholarship for last year, marking Mr Lewis’ retirement in April.

The scholarship commemorates Mr Lewis’ service to Southern Ports and the wider ports sector.

“This scholarship embodies Steve Lewis who throughout his career championed intergenerational skills development and regional growth,” Mr Wilks said.

Mr Lewis said that it was an honour to be recognised through the scholarship.

“I look forward to seeing the success that comes from the individuals who receive this scholarship in the years to come,” he said.

“The regions where Southern Ports operates are vital to our state and its economy and it’s pleasing to see that they will be further supported through this scholarship program.”

Curtin University vice-chancellor Harlene Hayne said the scholarship program would support the university’s delivery of education to regional Western Australia.

“This generous scholarship funded by Southern Ports will help reduce the financial barrier for students from these regions to follow their higher education and career aspirations,” she said.

“Working in partnership with Southern Ports will provide immense benefit to industry in these regions by producing career-ready, world-class graduates.”

Scholarship applications opened on Monday 15 January and are due to close on Wednesday 6 March 2024. The inaugural recipient would commence their degree in 2024.