GAF Story

Aja Pymble-Ward

Griffith University
Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Advanced with Honours)

Aja Pymble-Ward, Griffith scholar

Bachelor of Civil Engineering scholar Aja explains why she chose her field of study and the satisfaction of 'cracking' complex maths equations. 

What challenges did the transition from secondary to tertiary education present for you?

I initially found it a big challenge that all of a sudden my studies were limited to the one area: science. I’d always been used to having a bit of a release in classes like English Literature and French to give the other side of the brain a bit of a workout. So when I started studying engineering I had to get used to the fact that maths and physics would be my all day, everyday.

How did the GAF scholarship help address these challenges?

The GAF scholarship allowed me to move on campus and live with other students who were going through similar transitions. Within my first week on college I managed to locate all the engineering students in my building and it was fantastic to pick up all the tips needed to really enjoy my studies.

Has the scholarship brought other benefits? Any benefits you did not expect or anticipate?

The biggest, and most obvious, benefit would be the financial help. This scholarship covers a large majority of my living costs each year. I come home and attend meal times with all the other students on college and it’s like having a big extended family dinner. I hope that one day I’ll be in a stable financial situation to give back to The George Alexander Foundation in return for what they have given me.

Benefits that I didn’t expect are the networking benefits of being a GAF scholarship recipient. The breakfasts that are held and various meet-and-greets mean that I can meet other like-minded students.

Are you still active in your community and has this changed since you received your GAF scholarship?

I’m a member of the Griffith Honours College, Vice President of UNSA GU (United Nations Student Association of Griffith University) and attend various Cancer Council events throughout Brisbane on behalf of the University. Being a GAF scholarship recipient means I have funds to spend in other areas of the community, such as donating to charities and travelling around Brisbane to attend charity events.

Why did you choose the course you are studying?

I’ve always loved the stimulating challenge of a difficult maths problem. It’s so rewarding to finally crack something you’ve been working on for hours. It works the brain in a way that other things in life can’t.