Tilly looks to the stars

Matilda Bonnar
Matilda Bonnar

LIKE many young teenagers Tamborine Mountain High’s Matilda ‘Tilly’ Bonnar, has had to face and overcome social pressures. Tilly is now putting it all behind her to excel in her school studies. 

Her dedication was recently recognised when she was awarded a prestigious Harding Miller Education Foundation scholarship to assist her with the rest of her schooling. 

The scholarship is awarded to high-achieving young women experiencing low socioeconomic circumstances and is awarded to just seven Year 9 students across Queensland.

Scholarship recipients receive a new laptop, high speed internet, face-to-face and online tutoring, online homework assistance and prepaid expense cards to cover school essentials such as textbooks, study resources and excursions.

The support is tailored to help Tilly reach her potential and to build education pathways to her future career. 

Tilly is already noticing a positive difference with her studies from the extra support she’s been given, and she’s confident she’s achieved higher grades on recent assignments. 

“The scholarship makes me so happy and really gives me a chance at reaching my goal of becoming an astrophysicist” she said. 

Tilly’s dream is to become one of the first Australian female to venture into space, an interest she’s had for a long time. 

“I always liked looking at stars after my grandpa got me into science” she said. 

Tilly has persevered and triumphed not only academically but socially, her award silencing anyone who may have challenged her. Her Mum, Elise Bray-Sheppard says how proud she is of Tilly’s hard-work and dedication and her fight to overcome negativity. 

“We’re just super, super proud of her. She’s very humble, but we remind her everyday of how amazing she is,” Elise said. 

For Tilly, looking to the stars is just the beginning. Her dedication and intelligence are striving to take her to the moon, one small step at a time. 

By Olivia Schoenauer