Playford Trust Scholarship honour for Blackfriars old scholar

Since graduating from Blackfriars in 2019, Francesco Freda has been building up to a bright future – quite literally.

Francesco, who is studying a Bachelor of Construction Management (Honours) at the University of South Australia, was last month awarded a prestigious Playford Trust Scholarship.

The scholarships aim to help students make the most of their studies, achieve their potential and contribute to South Australia’s knowledge, skills and research base.

Francesco Freda, back row, second from right, with the 2019 First XVIII footballers.

“The Dean of the UniSA STEM unit … he emailed me, in collaboration with the Construction Management course Program Director, and they put my name forward for the Playford Trust Honours Scholarship,” Francesco said.

“We had to outline what knowledge we’ve obtained thus far from our time at university, where we see ourselves in the future and also how we believe that our Honours thesis will be of benefit to many people to come.

“The scholarship recognises the importance of the topic that we’re doing our thesis research into … and the fact that there are high-achieving students who intend to spend a significant part of their career in South Australia and that their paper, their thesis, will provide a benefit to the state.”

Francesco Freda has been awarded a Playford Trust Scholarship. Picture: University of South Australia

That thesis delves into the implications of smart cities for the construction industry and the “challenges and opportunities that presents”.

“It’s a big topic,” Francesco said with a laugh.

Francesco was a highly engaged and dedicated student during his six years at Blackfriars. He was a Prefect, Burke House Deputy Captain and a member of the debating team.

He also played First XVIII football during Years 10 and 11. A shoulder injury sidelined him in Year 12.

“It (receiving the scholarship) makes me feel incredibly grateful and blessed,” he said. “The hard work that I have put into my studies, not just in high school, but at university, have been rewarded in such a way that there is recognition with an award of this prestige.

“I just hope that when this thesis is complete, we provide some greater clarity on how smart cities will affect construction, will affect people going forward, in Adelaide or in other capital cities in Australia.”

Francesco – who also works as an undergraduate with BADGE Construction – is eyeing a career as a Contract Administrator. “Or even, in the future – in 10, 15, 20 years’ time – a Project Manager. We’ll wait and see!”

Francesco Freda also recently won the 2023 Australian Institute of Building SA/NT H F Sarah Award, awarded annually to a high-achieving third year student in the Bachelor of Construction Management program.

About the Playford Trust

Established in 1983 in honour of Sir Thomas Playford, SA’s longest-serving premier, the Playford Trust supports high-achieving tertiary students contributing to South Australia’s skills, knowledge and research base.

It focuses particularly on areas of strategic and economic importance to the State. A key aim is to actively encourage outstanding students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers, complementing both Federal and South Australian government programs and strategies.

Information courtesy

Do you have an old scholar story you’d like to share with the Blackfriars community? Email Communications Officer Shannon Caton at [email protected] with the details.


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