The pioneering Pratt and Hoskins families are well known in the Illawarra, with members of the latter the original founders of the Port Kembla Steelworks.
Andrew Percival Pratt also held the position of superintendent of the Spun Pipe plant at the steelworks for many years.
Now his late daughter Elizabeth Marie Hoskins has bequeathed $15,000 to the University of Wollongong in her will to establish a bursary for a female student in a field relating to metallurgy.
The AP Pratt for Engineering Scholarship was established as a result of the donation and named in honour of her father, affectionately called Percy Pratt by friends and family.
Will executor Diana de Hauteclocque, granddaughter of Percy Pratt (maternal) and Cecil Hoskins (paternal) and daughter of Elizabeth Hoskins, said the gifting of the scholarship was a thrill for the whole family.
‘’I still remember my father asking my mother when her will was drawn up, where she wanted the money to go,’’ she said.
‘’Both of my parents were very involved in and focused on education, and my mother decided that she wanted to leave a scholarship in the name of her father and relating to his work in metallurgy.
‘’I’m really thrilled that it’s going to be used for a young woman, my mother would be so pleased.’’
Percy Pratt was born in Hamilton, Victoria in 1879 and was a metallurgist by trade.
Percy relocated to Port Kembla with his wife and four children in the early 1900s and his fifth child, Elizabeth, was born in the Illawarra in 1918.
Soon after he started working at the steelworks. Percy, together with H.R. Lee and Charles (“Chief”) Jackson also founded the Boy Scout movement on the South Coast – a plaque recognising his contribution can be found at the Mount Keira Scout Camp.
UOW advancement development manager Ainslie Tweedie said the scholarship upholds the pioneering spirit of the Pratt and Hoskins families.
‘’UOW has always had a strong historical link to the steelworks and we are pleased to see the donation will continue the family’s legacy in the Illawarra, while furthering the career of a young woman in materials engineering,’’ she said.
The AP Pratt Scholarship for Engineering is valued at $20,000, with financial contribution from UOW, and will be offered over four years of the degree.
Females with an interest in materials engineering are invited to apply for the scholarship by visiting UOW’s website.