The Maltese Community Council of Victoria has awarded the 2018 MCCV Maltese Cultural Scholarship to Charlene Trestrail, who is third generation Maltese and a graduate in marine science. Charlene has lived most of her life in Melbourne, where her grandparents played a key role in helping her connect with her Maltese heritage.
The aims of this scholarship are to encourage young persons’ interest in Maltese culture. The Scholarship award consists of a grant of $1,000 to assist the successful candidate in visiting Malta to participate in various cultural activities and appreciate the Maltese culture first-hand.
Charlene is expected to stay in Malta for a minimum of three weeks. On her return she will be writing a blog/newspaper article about her stay in Malta, which will be printed and broadcast in the Australian-Maltese media. She will also make a presentation to the MCCV about her cultural experience in Malta.
Charlene will be expected to continue her interest in the Maltese Community on her return from Malta. In particular, she will be expected to take part in efforts to generate interest in Maltese culture among Maltese-Australian youth.
Charlene has always been fascinated with all things under the ocean, a passion which led her to graduate as a marine scientist from the University of Melbourne. She is currently working towards her PhD, which involves researching the effects that plastic pollution has on marine life. Charlene teaches biology subjects at RMIT University, and volunteers as a mentor to encourage secondary school students to explore science-related careers.
During her visit in 2019, Charlene will be connecting with her family members living in Malta, and exploring both her family history and the rich ancient history of the Maltese islands. She also hopes to improve her Maltese language skills, which started with classes at the MCCV. As a keen SCUBA diver, Charlene plans to explore Malta’s unique marine life and historical shipwrecks up close, and will meet with marine scientists at the University of Malta to learn about their scientific research. She is also looking forward to exploring Gozo, and to try her hand at traditional lace-making.
Charlene is interested in meeting other young Maltese-Australians in Melbourne, and hopes to establish a group which will help Maltese-Australian youth connect with each other, and enjoy shared activities. Anyone interested in being part of a group that connects one with other Maltese descendants, may get in touch with Charlene by emailing her at [email protected]