The Dombeya Scholarship

by Ntando Buthelezi, June 16 2009

Dombeya Scholarship 2009- Ntando in Australia-Redux

I am back home from Australia, and into the swing of things at Dombeya It feels great to be back, but I must thank the AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) and the University of Adelaide for hosting me. Especially Prof Roger Lee (Head of Agriculture and Wine) at the University of Adelaide , Prof. Isaak Pretorius (Managing director of AWRI), Dr. Kerry Wilkinson and Dr Keren Bindon( Research Scientists at AWRI) for hosting me and allowing me to work with their students. It was an honour and a privilege to work under Dr. Bindon as she was my former lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch before she moved to the AWRI. It was both challenging and eye opening working under her again as she knew my habits and pushed me to think outside of my realm!

I chose this picture as a memoir for me, (Dr. Kerry on the right and Dr Keren on the left). Australia treated me with kindness; I will certainly miss the country and thank everybody who participated to make this scholarship a success that it was!

A huge thank you goes out to Dombeya. Without the scholarship, I would not know what I now know. I thank you for investing in me both financially and emotionally, and for preparing me for the journey ahead. I encourage this year's graduates to apply for the scholarship as it is a wonderful opportunity for recent graduates with little or no practical experience in the wine industry.

You will be challenged, motivated and encouraged to learn and work hard. It's an opportunity to work, study and learn abroad. It's a chance of a life time where you will meet people you would have never met. It gives you a stepping stone to the future by building a bridge between the gap of university and wine industry itself. It's a mentoring programme that is well organized and fulfilling,and an exciting one where you get to network and grow as you are tested on many aspects. Your thoughts become shaped differently and you begin to realize where research fits into the wine making and how the two merge, that they are not independent from each other. Your capabilities will be tested in all levels.

This opportunity will deepen your practical knowledge and broaden your perspective of the global wine industry. It will also create a comparative basis in your endeavours since not only would you have read about the Australian wine industry but you would have experienced it!

Click here to go to Dombeya Wines website.