Monica Phimmachanh
Monica aims to integrate technology with world leading research, and to inspire young people to pursue a career in STEM.

UNSW Medicine & Health PhD candidate Monica Phimmachanh has been named one of the recipients of the 2021 Westpac Future Leaders Scholars.

“The program provides students with the opportunity to develop strong leadership skills and be a part of the vastly collaborative environment that is The Westpac 100 Scholars network. It fosters growth and facilitates collaborative research, to create new opportunities to develop as a researcher and to inspire innovation” says Monica.

“For me, I look forward to seeking advice from like-minded individuals and scholars from different backgrounds as well as taking advantage of the opportunity to collaborate with international research labs. This experience will also allow me to develop essential communication and presentation skills, to drive social discussion, and become a voice for young scientists in the community.”

Monica’s PhD project will focus on conducting novel and innovative systems analysis and biochemistry techniques to dissect the specific function of histone deacetylases, a superfamily of enzymes in the context of dynamic cell behaviours. “I aim to integrate technology with world-leading research to showcase and inspire research in young people to pursue a career in STEM, to become a leader in the scientific and general community.”

Westpac Scholars Trust will award up to $4.7 million in scholarships in 2021 to a group of outstanding Australians who are determined to find creative new ways to solve problems facing our communities.

Each year, in partnership with 14 universities across Australia, the Trust invests in up to 100 promising researchers, entrepreneurs, and young Australians who challenge, explore and set new benchmarks in innovation, research, and social change. Since 2016, the Trust has invested $24 million and awarded over 470 scholarships.

Scholarships are awarded across five categories. In addition to financial support, each recipient undertakes a bespoke leadership development program to help develop the skills and networks they need to reach their full potential. Recipients also become lifelong members of the program’s alumni, the Westpac 100 Scholars Network (W100).

Growing by up to 100 Westpac Scholars every year, the W100 brings together people from all walks of life and provides lifelong access to professional development and inspiring networks. Engagement is led and driven by the Scholars, with the support of the Trust.

Applications for 2022 scholarships open in June, register your interest or nominate someone you know at