What is Foundation Barossa Thomas Scholarship?

The Thomas Foundation was established by David and Barbara Thomas in 1998, after they sold Cellarmaster Wines to Fosters. The Thomas Scholarship has a special emphasis on the development of opportunities for young people through tertiary education. It aims to ensure their aspirations and goals are not hampered by their family circumstances, and that their contributions to society may also benefit their communities.

The Thomas Scholarship is made from the Education Trust Account. The donations received into the Thomas Fund are invested and the income generated from the investment is gifted out in the form of a Scholarship. It is expected that local giving will continue to grow into The Thomas Scholarship so that this and other scholarships can be sustained into perpetuity

Who does the Thomas Scholarship assist?

The Thomas Scholarship provides financial support, over three years, to young people whose family are involved in the Barossa Wine community.

At any one time, the Thomas Scholarship is assisting at least 3 local Young people attend Tertiary Education. It is also a focus of the selection on the young person bringing their skills back to the Barossa.

The Thomas Scholarship provides up to $18 000 during the course of study for a student’s tertiary study.  It also offers opportunities for work placement and mentoring through Barossa based companies and businesses during the student’s course.

Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the Thomas Scholarship, applicants must be:

  • Currently studying Year 12 or have completed Year 12 and are either studying or working (full time or part time).
  • The child of a parent (or parents) who live or have lived in the Barossa and work in the Barossa wine industry.
  • The applicant need to live in the Barossa or currently reside in South Australia.
  • The applicant must have selected a course of tertiary study eg: university or TAFE in the scholarship year.
  • Preference will be given to those students undertaking courses relevant to the needs of the Barossa wine industry. However, studies not directly related will also be considered.
  • Applicants are required to provide evidence of their academic capacity to succeed, financial circumstances and personal commitment and motivation to undertake and complete tertiary level study.

Thomas Scholarship recipients

  • 2010 Chloe Roesler
  • 2011 Tirryn Nankivell
  • 2012 Lisa Rohrlach
  • 2013 Morgan Rigby-Meth
  • 2014 James Fox
  • 2014 Jessica Leirsch (1 year)
  • 2015 Ashby Schilling
  • 2016 Deanna Kerr
  • 2016 Morgan Leske (1 year)

2014 Thomas Scholar – James Fox

James is studing Oenology and Winemaking at Adelaide University   Photo: Steve Clarkson (Thomas Scholarship, Industry Advisory Group), James Fox (2014 Thomas Scholar) and Karl Martin (Foundation Barossa Director – Thomas Scholarship).

2013 Thomas Scholar – Morgan Rigby-Meth

Morgan is undertaking a Bachelor of Education at Adelaide University.

2012 Thomas Scholar – Lisa Rohrlach

Lisa is undertaking a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Adelaide University. Photo: Anita Bowen, Steve Clarskson, Lisa Rohrlach and Leanne Hutton.