Salt Creek Scholarship Laureate 2024

Zhongning (Rain) Lai

Zhongning (“Rain”) Lai moved to Warrnambool from China with his parents about 7 years ago. In Warrnambool he attended secondary school at Brauer College where he graduated as Dux in 2023 with an ATAR of 99.1, the highest score in all of south-west Victoria.

When Rain arrived in Australia, he spoke no English whatsoever. Undoubtedly, Rain is an outstanding student. He is hardworking and committed not only to his studies but to all that he applies himself including overcoming the language barrier. Rain’s accomplishments are diverse and manifold: he was elected school captain by his peers in his final year in 2023; was a Victorian gold medalist in jujitsu in 2022; is an alumni of the National Mathematics Summer School and has even developed a school-based debating competition.

After losing a close friend and obtaining permanent residency in Australia a few years ago, Rain determined to “work and live a life that he would not regret”. Aside from his accomplishments at school and in martial arts, Rain has met many people who inspire him and has decided to dedicate his life to giving back to the communities around him. Rain already has experience as a volunteer and has demonstrated a willingness to give back to his community by providing free classes in Judo to primary school students over the past few years.

Rain was described by a former English teacher as “an unconditionally honest and decent person, courteous in his behaviour, perceptive in his thinking and intrinsically motivated to achieve his best”. It’s no surprise then that Rain has been accepted into Monash University’s Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Masters accelerated pathway. He will be living at Monash Urban Community in Clayton. While Rain has not an exact career goal in mind at this time, he plans to make the most of any opportunities that arise and ultimately pursue an engineering role that interests him and which allows him to be involved in regional development.

After meeting Rain for just 5 minutes, it is evident that he loves life and is passionate about pursuing excellence. Clearly, Rain is not going to let life’s opportunities pass him by.

Rain is the very worthy recipient of the 6th Salt Creek Scholarship.

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Degree: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/Masters accelerated pathway

Institution: Monash University

In residence: Clayton Urban Community, Monash University

Career Goal: To pursue an interesting engineering role which allows him to be involved in regional development

Education History: Brauer College