Local tertiary students who are required to leave the region to study in a health related field are encouraged to apply for a $2000 grant to support their learning as part of the annual Mount Gambier and District Tertiary Health Education Grant program.
The program will provide up to 12 grants to City of Mount Gambier and District Council of Grant residents to undertake university studies in health skills shortage areas within the local community.
“The grants are available to those students starting or continuing university studies in identified skills shortage areas such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, allied health, chiropractic, midwifery, psychology, paramedicine and mental health nursing,” Mount Gambier and District Tertiary Health Education Grants Program Chairman Rodney Summers said.
“We recognise that study within the health area is expensive and we want to support students along the way and encourage them to return to our region to use their skills once they are qualified.”
The grants can be used for university fees, medical uniforms, equipment, books, travel and living expenses.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student Jennieva Burn moved to Bendigo in 2021 for her first year of the course at La Trobe University with the assistance of a Tertiary Health Education Grant.
“I applied for the grant because to be supported by my home town was an amazing opportunity. Also, my casual job has been my only source of earnings, and with full-time study I was seeking alternative sources of income to help out with my first year of university, in a different city too. As someone who plans to come back to the Limestone Coast I thought it was ideal,” Jennieva said.
“This grant has helped me pay for petrol, supplies, groceries, on-campus amenities fees and medical appointments. It allowed me to focus more on my university course and I was able to afford the long drives home to visit loved ones.”
I would absolutely encourage others to apply for this grant as it is a great way for fellow regional citizens pursuing education to receive financial assistance. University is no easy feat and any help is motivating, especially from your home town. - Jennieva Burn
Physiotherapist Anna Telford received a Tertiary Health Education Grant in 2015 and 2016 to assist her to complete a Bachelor of Physiotherapy at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.
“I relocated to Adelaide in 2014 to study full time for four years and there were several associated living costs like higher rent, more fuel, travelling further to and from home, public transport costs to and from university, university textbooks and uniform costs,” Anna said.
“Financially the grant was very useful to me to assist with those costs, but it was also good for my mental health. I had less stress as I didn’t need to work as many hours, my work/study life balance was much better and I could prioritise my studies.”
Anna returned to Mount Gambier after completing her studies in 2017 and started her own practice in 2020. She has since opened an additional clinic in Millicent with another young local returning physiotherapist.
On reflection I’ve really come to value the sense of community support that the grant provided. I am proud to be from a regional town and appreciate that this program acknowledges that it’s not easy to study away from home and supports the hopes and dreams of people in the allied health area, it’s a really special concept I think. - Anna Telford
The Tertiary Health Education Grant program has awarded 156 grants to students at a total cost of $312,000 since 2007. It 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.
View the eligibility criteria and application form at: www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au/THEG
Applications close on Thursday 31 March 2022.
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or email@example.com