Four students from country Victoria have each received $2500 scholarships designed to encourage the next generation of nursing and allied health professionals from rural communities.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Victoria awarded the Give Them Wings scholarships in partnership with Rural Health Workforce Australia. Two scholarships were awarded last year, but the success of the program saw the number doubled for 2013.
Marilyn Vickery, from Wangaratta, is one of the recipients. Vickery, who spent her childhood on her parents’ hobby farm and horse-riding with her best friend, is currently studying for a nursing degree at La Trobe University in Albury-Wodonga. She said she would prefer to work in the country when she finishes her course; for her, the city is “too busy and there’s too much traffic”.
Another recipient is Kloi-Jayd vanRoevan, also studying nursing at La Trobe in Albury-Wodonga.
“I’m sure I’ll end up living and working in a country town,” said vanRoevan, who grew up in Myrtleford. “It will be somewhere small because I want to build that rapport with people.”
The other winners are Kiara Perry from Charlton, a speech pathology student at La Trobe University’s Bendigo campus, and Mikaela Vaughan from Wangaratta, taking physiotherapy at Monash University’s Peninsula campus.
Aside from receiving cash to help with their first-year study expenses, the scholarship winners will get to experience the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), which provides 24-hour emergency cover to 80 per cent of the Australian continent through a fleet of specially equipped aircraft.
RFDS Victoria CEO Scott Chapman said of the students, “They are the future of rural health and we look forward to following their careers with great interest.”
Greg Sam, CEO of Rural Health Workforce Australia, said the scholarships recognised that rural students could help to reduce Australia’s rural health workforce shortages. “We think these scholarships will make a difference because students from a rural background are more likely to return to the country to work once they graduate.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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