Curtin University graduate Christian Bien has been awarded a prestigious Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship joining an elite group of Australians committed to solving challenges facing communities.
The $120,000 scholarship will enable Landsdale local Mr Bien to complete a Masters of Entrepreneurship at the University of Melbourne and apply his new skills to further advance a self-developed educational equity initiative.
While born in Australia, Mr Bien’s parents fled war-torn Vietnam, learning early on the value of education in alleviating wealth inequality.
Studying a Bachelor of Commerce at Curtin University, he graduated with a double major in accounting and finance while fulfilling roles as founder of both the Curtin Consulting Group and Elucidate Education- an online education support initiative he developed in Year 12.
In six years, the platform grew to include a team of 20 with eight board directors and over 23,000 Australian users and 82,000 users worldwide.
Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne congratulated Mr Bien for his outstanding achievements.
“Mr Bien is a remarkable student, innovator and creator who is an incredibly worthy recipient of the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship,” Professor Hayne said.
“He is a testament to the power of education in transforming lives and communities for the better. I applaud his passion for social change and ensuring others enjoy the same access to quality teaching and learning.”
With the help of the scholarship and further learning, Mr Bien said he hopes to grow Elucidate Education to improve educational outcomes for all, particularly for lower socio-economic and regional communities.
“Despite growing up poor, being from a boat refugee background, my father always reminded me how rich we were with the opportunities of education and how education was a means out of poverty,” Mr Bien said.
“However, the ability to access the opportunity of education is not equal, with research indicating disadvantaged students can be up to four years behind their advantaged peers in schooling. My mission is to bridge this gap to ensure Australian students have the support they need to achieve at school.”
Mr Bien’s other achievements include earning his place on Curtin University’s Vice Chancellor’s List, which recognises the top one per cent of undergraduate students, in both 2017 and in 2019.
He also won the Curtin University Equity and Diversity Leadership Award in 2019, was a John Curtin Leadership Academy participant and mentor, and a graduate of the Stanford International Honours program in Technology and Innovation.