- Central NSW Joint Organisation (CNSWJO) awards $75,000 worth of scholarships to three Central West students studying medicine in Orange
- Scholarships form part of CNSWJO’s commitment to training student doctors from the regions, in the regions
- Scholarship recipients from Orange, Cudal and Bathurst are part of inaugural Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University Joint Program in Medicine cohort
Studying medicine just got a little bit easier for three Central West students thanks to a $75,000 scholarship boost from the Central NSW Joint Organisation (CNSWJO).
Last week, councillors from the CNSWJO met with the three students in the Charles Sturt University and Western Sydney University Joint Program in Medicine to congratulate them on being selected for the Central NSW Joint Organisation Scholarship.
The students from Orange, Cudal and Bathurst will each receive a scholarship worth $25,000 over the course of five years.
The scholarships are part of an ongoing scholarship fund established by CNSWJO and reflect the organisation’s long-standing support of training student doctors from the regions, in the regions.
Chair of CNSWJO and Mayor of Lachlan Shire Councillor John Medcalf, OAM said, “On behalf of CNSWJO, I would like to congratulate our three Central West scholarship recipients and wish them all of the best with their studies to become doctors and provide essential healthcare services for regional Australia.
“We have been long-time supporters of training doctors in the regions and getting the opportunity to meet the students in the program is a proud moment for our organisation and the communities we represent.
“This program is opening up doors for aspiring health professionals from the regions and we are proud to support it.”
The inaugural recipients of the CNSWJO scholarship are first-year Doctor of Medicine students Ms Heidi Annand from Bathurst, Ms Miranda Eyb from Cudal and Ms Sarudzai (Saru) Mukonowatsauka.
Ms Mukonowatsauka, who grew up in South Africa and moved to Orange in 2010 to work as a Registered Nurse, said the scholarship has been a ‘godsend’.
“Coming into medicine, I was working full-time, and I’ve got two kids at home, so the financial responsibilities have been a lot,” she said.
“With this scholarship, I don’t have to think about finances, and I don’t have to work as much.
“I can split my time between my kids and my study. I am just so grateful.”
Scholarship recipient Ms Eyb went straight into the medicine program after an 18-month gap year from high school. She said the scholarships will help her to pursue her passion of becoming a rural GP and livestock producer.
“The scholarship has two important meanings to me,” she said.
“The first is, like most students, I have two part-time jobs and this scholarship means I can get rid of one of those and focus on doing well in my degree.
“The second is I also have my own shorthorn cattle stud and it’s taken me so long to build up a sizeable herd. This scholarship means I can hold onto my best females and I don’t have to get rid of them because I am strapped for cash.”
Career changer Ms Heidi Annand previously worked in a number of roles in the creative industries sectors, but said it was her passion for social causes and public health that inspired her to study medicine
“Having a scholarship gives you that boost of confidence, motivation and accountability to keep achieving within the course,” she said.
“There’s also the financial side. Coming into medicine quite late means I want to be able to jump on all the opportunities I can get my hands on, and that has a financial toll. Having the scholarship will also help with all of the costs of being a 20-something in a regional town.”
CEO of the Charles Sturt Foundation Ms Sarah Ansell thanked CNSWJO for their generous support and said the scholarships will make a positive difference in the lives of the students and the communities in which they go on to work.
“Studying Medicine is no small undertaking – it is a huge commitment and to be awarded a $25,000 scholarship is truly life-changing,” Ms Ansell said.
“Not only has CNSWJO made an investment in our program and our students, they have also made an investment in rural and regional healthcare.
“I applaud CNSWJO for the unwavering support they have provided to our Medicine program, from lobbying for the school for years to providing generous scholarships for our students.”
Funds from the scholarship will help the successful recipients cover the costs of a range of study-related expenses and fees.
Each year the CNSWJO scholarships will be awarded to selected commencing medicine students from the Local Government Areas of Bathurst Regional, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Oberon, Orange City, Parkes, or Weddin.
A full list of scholarships offered by Charles Sturt is available on the University’s website.