The Mount Gambier and District Tertiary Health Education Grant program will provide 12 financial grants to local health students in 2019 and is now open for applications. The program supports city or district residents who are required to leave the region to undertake university studies in identified health skill shortage areas within the community.
The program provides local students with a $2000 grant to help complete their tertiary studies within the health field.
“The program aims to support young people in their endeavour to formally train as a health specialist,” Mount Gambier and District Tertiary Health Education Grants Program Chairman Ken Stafford said.
“Although we know some grant recipients may be unable to return to the region, where possible we hope they do so following their graduation to boost the number of health professionals in the South East.”
Grants can be used for a broad range of student needs including university fees, medical uniforms, equipment, books, travel and living expenses.
“Last year we provided 11 grants to students who undertook studies in different health areas including medical science, pharmacy, speech pathology, medicine/surgery, medical radiation, physiotherapy, paramedic science, exercise science, nursing and midwifery, psychology and occupational therapy at five different universities throughout Australia.”
2018 grant recipient Vimbiso Chiodze said the financial support she received assisted her to meet the costs associated with her first year studying a Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery at the University of Adelaide.
This grant was a shot in the arm and came in handy considering the cost of textbooks and other requirements such as stethoscope are prohibitively too high, let alone the high cost of student accommodation. The grant impacted positively in making my transition into university life better than it would have been.
- Grant recipient Vimbiso Chiodze
Meanwhile, 22 year old Deakin University third year Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery student Alice Telford said the grant made it possible for her to continue to undertake work placements throughout Victoria in 2018.
“The financial help provided by the grant enabled me to access a variety of workplace opportunities for both personal growth and practical learning; delivering babies, caring for those who are vulnerable and collaborating and learning amongst supportive and experienced teams of health professionals in both city and rural areas. Each situation has provided significant challenges, but rewarding practical opportunities to advance my skills and expertise as a student nurse and midwife,” Miss Telford said.
The grant program is supported by City of Mount Gambier, District Council of Grant, UFS Chemist, Flinders Rural Health SA, Mount Gambier and District Community Bank, Rotary Club of Mount Gambier Lakes, John and Helen Kentish and Ken and Carol Stafford.
“Over the past 13 years the program has provided 132 grants to students at a total cost of $264,000. We are always looking for additional financial contributors to the program so that we can try and keep the number of grants up between 12 and 15 each year,” Mr Stafford said.
“District Council of Grant doubled its contribution to the program this year from $2000 to $4000 which means that not one, but two students will be supported as a result.”
View the eligibility criteria and application form at www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au/THEG
Applications close on Sunday 31 March 2019.
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or firstname.lastname@example.org