University of New South Wales law student and cochlear implant recipient Calvin Shaw has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Graeme Clark Scholarship.
Named after the eminent scientist and inventor of the cochlear implant, Professor Graeme Clark, the scholarship was established in 2002 to provide financial assistance to cochlear implant and bone conduction implant recipients to help them excel academically.
Shaw was awarded the tightly-contested scholarship based on his academic achievements and leadership qualities.
Shaw was diagnosed with profound deafness at nine months of age and first received a cochlear implant when he was two years old. He said having a cochlear implant has changed his life.
"I am able to communicate effectively with my peers, teachers and friends," he said. "Law, my passion, is dialogue-heavy in teaching and practice. The cochlear implant enables me to study law and pursue greater opportunities in higher education. It has significantly increased my overall quality of life in everything I do."
Professor Clark said Shaw's commitment to his studies, extracurricular activities, community involvement and leadership skills impressed the committee this year.
"We believe he has a very bright future and wish him well with his studies in law. I'm sure that he will make a wonderful role model for other implant students and also, generally, those studying law," he said.
Shaw is in his final year of studies and, in February 2012, will begin working as a graduate lawyer with Freehills in Sydney. He also aspires to undertake a Masters of Law.
"I plan to lead a rich and fulfilling career, balancing corporate work with participation in programs that reach out to homeless and disadvantaged youths," he said.