After a rigorous application process and grilling interviews, the 2023 Western Australian Rhodes Scholar was announced.
23-year-old Riley Faulds was stunned when his name was announced.
“I feel very surreal,” he said, “My poppa was with me throughout my application, he was my biggest fan. He passed last month and I’m sad that he couldn’t be here to celebrate with me. He’d be proud.”
Having recently completed a Bachelor or Philosophy (Honours) Majoring in Agricultural Science and English and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia, Riley has his sights set on Oxford University where he intends to undertake a Masters in World Literature and English.
“I love bringing science into my writing and poetry,” he explained, “my central passion is the climate crisis and I hope to inspire people to take action.”
Riley was one of seven, dubbed the ‘Silver Seven’ by the Governor, who made it through to the final round. The panel were so impressed by the calibre of the candidates that a further two were nominated for an Australia-at-Large Scholarship – a first for Western Australia.
The prestigious Australia-at-Large scholarships are open to exceptional candidates who have come close to being selected for the Rhodes Scholar in their state but just missed out. Nominations for Australia-at-Large are made at the discretion of the selection panel and any state can choose to nominate candidates. Not every state will nominate. Last year Western Australia did not nominate. In late November they will travel to Canberra to undergo a panel selection process similar to the one they have undertaken for the 2023 Western Australian Rhodes Scholar. Two Australia-at-Large candidates will be selected from all those nominated from around the Australian states and territories and awarded a Rhodes Scholarship opportunity to pursue their studies at Oxford.
Congratulations to Riley Faulds for being named the 2023 Western Australian Rhodes Scholar. And congratulations to Abbey Mardon (University of Western Australia) and Dr James Leigh (Curtin University) for being nominated for an Australia-at-Large Scholarship.