2015 Rural Health Education Scholarship Winners

This is the third year that Ochre Health in conjunction with Ochre Health Foundation has provided the Rural Health Education Scholarship. The scholarship for 2015 has been awarded to Nivanka De Silva from Deniliquin, NSW.

The Indigenous Rural Health Education Scholarship has been introduced for the first time this year. We are pleased to announce that it has been awarded to Bettina Goolagon from Condobolin, NSW.

Nivanka is a fourth year medical student at UNSW. Growing up in the town of Deniliquin, Nivanka’s local family doctor, Dr Mikulin, inspired her to follow a path into medicine. Nivanka said she aspires to be the kind of person Dr Mikulin has been in her community. Once her studies are completed Nivanka would like to work within rural general practice or for overseas organisations assisting in their medical programs.

Bettina from Condobolin is currently studying a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care Practice. The amazing mother of five decided to transition from finance into medicine while working with the Murrumbidgee Medicare Local. Her goal is to achieve all her clinical hours to become a Registered Nurse and then move into Midwifery.

The Ochre scholarships provide $2,000 to assist covering costs related to studies in the health care industry. Bettina said that she is “grateful for the scholarship as it will help alleviate the pressure of having to take time off work to attend classes in Sydney.”

Both awards were judged by Professor Mark Arnold of the Sydney University School of Rural Health based in Dubbo, NSW.
Applicants were asked to write a 500 word response on how they would use technology to help improve health care within rural communities.

Director of Medical Services Dr Hamish Meldrum said

this year we got another group of high quality applicants and we are delighted to be able to assist rural students further their study. Rural students are more likely to return to work in rural locations after graduation and also have more barriers in terms of additional costs to access education.”

CEO John Burns said

We would like to congratulate Nivanka and Bettina and also wish all the applicants a successful year in tertiary study in 2015”

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