Students with disabilities are set to be supported through a new scholarship started by a Griffith Business School alumnus.
“This scholarship is about supporting students with disabilities as they begin their university education at Griffith,” Ms Cottell said.
“It is essential to make sure the opportunities I was given are passed on to those who also want the opportunity of a tertiary education.”
The scholarship will be available to first-year students with a disability who have financial hardship and/or educational disadvantage to undertake undergraduate study at Griffith University.
Ms Cottell, co-founder of Wotif.com and daughter of philanthropist Andrew Brice AM, is calling on other donors to join her.
“I hope that others will join me by adding to this scholarship endowment,” she said.
“As the endowment grows, more students can be supported, and we are creating a more inclusive future together.”
Griffith University will match the foundation donation of $100,000, which means when any new donor contributes to the endowment, they will have their donation matched until the $100,000 is expended.
Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said equity, accessibility and inclusion were strategic priorities for the University.
“Our goal is to ensure all students can participate fully in all spheres of study without barriers,” Professor Evans said.
“This new scholarship will complement our work on improving participation, retention and success of students with disabilities by aiding students financially.
“We are incredibly grateful for Ms Cottell’s generous endowment and efforts encouraging further donations.”
Griffith Biospine researcher, emergency doctor and ambassador for the International Day of People with Disability, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, echoed her sentiments.
Dr Palipana, who is also an alumnus and senior lecturer in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, was the second person in Australia to graduate medical school with quadriplegia.
“Equity is one of the most important things because I faced so many barriers after the spinal cord injury in accessing the community, education, employment, healthcare – all those things,” Dr Palipana said.
“Education is the most powerful tool that you can give someone and it’s a tool someone can use to live their life, to change the world and to be part of society in a better way.
“I feel very lucky to have graduated from Griffith, but I’m also really excited to be part of the University now because I think it is one of the leading institutions in the world that takes inclusion seriously.”