Gabrielle Penna showing cattle as part of her show team with Cathedral College Rockhampton
Gabrielle Penna showing cattle as part of her show team with Cathedral College Rockhampton
19 February 2013

First-year agricultural science student Gabrielle Penna’s time at The University of Queensland is off to a good start after being awarded two scholarships valued at $26,000 over the duration of her program.

Ms Penna has been awarded a UQ Merit Scholarship and a Skills Queensland Supporting Women’s Scholarship.

“I was really surprised when I found out that I had won. It was a fantastic feeling which reinforced my decision to study ag science,” Ms Penna said.

Ms Penna grew up on a farming property in Marlborough in Central Queensland and then moved to Rockhampton where her family farmed paw paws, watermelons and pumpkins.

“I love the agricultural lifestyle, and working outdoors with plants and animals. Through my studies I want to find ways to help people in the agriculture industry as I’ve seen the issues and struggles that farmers face and I have an idea on what needs to be improved and practical ways to make that happen,” she said.

Ms Penna realised she wanted to make a career of the skills she had learnt in her home life when she was studying agricultural science in high school.

“I think because I had grown up with agriculture all around me I hadn’t been thinking about studying it. When I realised I could pursue a career in an industry I am so passionate about it all fitted into place,” Ms Penna said.

“I decided to attend the FEAST (Future Experiences in Agriculture, Science and Technology) camp at UQ Gatton and investigate a career in ag further. FEAST was really good and gave me valuable insight into what I would be studying and the benefits of entering the industry.

“It’s really reassuring knowing that I have already seen where I will be living and eating before I even arrived at Orientation Week. I’m lucky enough to even have a few friends already starting as well that attended the camp."

The UQ Faculty of Science awarded ten Merit Scholarships to students studying a Bachelor of Agricultural Science or a Bachelor of Agribusiness.

For more information on scholarships visit

Media: Erin Pearl, UQ Gatton Campus, 5460 1229 or