- $36,000 worth of scholarships for 25 starting and continuing health students in the Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health footprint
- Scholarships awarded to support students studying in a range of health-related fields that will benefit rural communities
Twenty-five country students across rural NSW have been awarded a total of $36,000 in scholarships through Charles Sturt University’s Three Rivers–Country Education Foundation of Australia Grant Scheme.
Charles Sturt supports the scheme through the Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health, which aims to improve the recruitment and retention of nursing, midwifery, allied health and dentistry professionals in rural and remote Australia.
The grants were awarded in January by eligible local volunteer-run foundations of the Country Education Foundation of Australia to support students studying a wide range of health degrees.
To be eligible student applicants had to originate from within the Three Rivers footprint, an area that covers a large part of NSW, incorporating the Murrumbidgee, Central West and western areas.
A shared aim to improve access to university-level health study education for rural and regional young people prompted CEF, Three Rivers UDRH and Charles Sturt to come together to administer these grants.
Three Rivers Pathways and Student Support Lead, Dr Pip Southwell, said Three Rivers UDRH saw the positive impact of the grants in 2019.
“We have committed to continuing the scheme to 2021 in support of the students’ journey, as well as the well-being of the communities from which they come,” she said.
“Students from a range of health courses have been supported, including nursing, paramedicine and allied health.
“As we move into the second year, we are delighted to now be supporting returning students to continue in their courses”.
CEF CEO Mrs Juliet Petersen is thankful for the support from Three Rivers UDRH.
“To see students supported into their second year of courses is tremendous,” she said.
“These are young people who will be giving back to the community in ways perhaps taken for granted up until the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
“Beyond the substantial financial assistance provided, the boost in aspiration for rural and regional health students is immeasurable.”
Dr Southwell said the grant program also prompted a community-led research project to explore the impact of grass-roots organisations on the well-being of rural towns.
“What we have learned is that CEF local foundations offer far more to their grant recipients than just funding,” she said.
“It is the affirmation of a community, and belief in these young people that creates lasting results.”
Three Rivers is a department within Charles Sturt University Faculty of Science and one of 16 UDRHs around Australia funded by the Australian Government to increase the rural health workforce, with a specific focus on nursing, midwifery, allied health, and dentistry professionals.
CEF is happy to have facilitated the distribution of these grants to young people in regions across NSW and looks forward to seeing the impact it will make on their lives and the communities with which they have strong ties.