UPDATE November 2017

Defence and STEM

The Playford Trust works with the Department of State Development and the Defence Teaming Centre to deliver the Defence Honours Scholarship and Defence and STEM Internship Programs.

The students chosen to participate work on real-world projects and gain valuable industry experience. Their career and employment prospects also can be significantly enhanced, as this blog, posted by the Department of State Development in June explains… Read more

2017 awards night

The photo on the right was taken at the June 2017 awards ceremony when 24 students from SA’s three public universities were presented scholarships and internships by Minister for Defence Industries, the Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith.

The successful Defence Honours scholarship recipients are pictured here with the Minister and the Hon Dean Brown AO, Chairman of the Playford Trust.

Importantly, the awards night also recognised industry sponsors who generously support the scholarships and internships programs. They include Boeing Defence Australia, Rheinmetall Electronics, Lockheed Martin Australia, BAE Systems and ASC Pty Ltd.

Entrepreneurial Masterclass

Defence and STEM students attended a five-session masterclass facilitated by Mr Dan Smith, State Manager of US-based MassChallenge. They heard from presenters involved in the Bridge to MassChallenge ‘boot camp’ program held last year and from young entrepreneurs building their companies.

The final masterclass was held at Techstars Adelaide, where students were inspired by some of the startups going through the global accelerator program.

John Makestas, one of two past Playford Trust Scholars invited to attend, found the masterclass ‘inspiring, helpful and very informative’. John was awarded the SA Power Networks/Playford Trust Scholarship in 2015.  Having completed Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Computer Science he now works as a software engineer with Saab.

John learned ‘there are proven, effective strategies that can go a long way to ensuring the success of a business.  Making the most of your network, putting thought into your business model, following good business practices and presenting effectively are all crucial to a sustainable, profitable venture.

‘Coming from a primarily technical background, I had little knowledge of these areas.  The Masterclass opened my eyes to some of the issues involved and helped me see that starting my own business – something I’ve always dreamed about but have seen as too risky a proposition – is actually possible.’