2020 Tertiary Health Education Grants launched

The 2020 Mount Gambier and District Tertiary Health Education Grants Program was launched on Tuesday 21 October 2020. Now in its 14th year the program will provide financial grants to support local health students undertaking study outside the region. Applications are now open and students required to leave the region to undertake university studies in areas of health are encouraged to apply.

The program supports residents from Mount Gambier and the surrounding district through the provision of a $2000 grant to help complete their tertiary studies within the health field in areas where there is an identified skill shortage locally.

“The program aims to support local 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 Limestone Coast.”

I’m delighted to report that we are now aware of a number of previous recipients working full-time in Mount Gambier including Chloe Slarks who received a grant in 2011 and is now based locally working as a paramedic with the South Australian Ambulance Service and 2015 recipient Amelia Hancock who has recently taken up work as a pharmacist at UFS Chemist.

– THEG chairman Ken Stafford

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 10 grants to students who undertook studies in a wide variety of speciality health areas at five different universities throughout Australia.”

2019 grant recipient Cody Lewis said the financial support she received assisted her to meet the costs associated with her first year studying a Bachelor of Exercise Science and Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology at Flinders University in Adelaide.

“Not taking a gap year meant leaving a greater financial burden on my family therefore when I was notified I would be a recipient of this grant I was so grateful as it provided me with some important assistance to allow me to successfully move away and kick start my study,” Miss Lewis said.

Meanwhile, 2015 grant recipient Amelia Hancock recently graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) and has this year returned to her home town of Mount Gambier to commence work as a pharmacist.

“Additional costs such as text books, lab coats and accommodation are just a few items that I put the grant funds towards,” Miss Hancock said.

“After completing my studies and internship in Adelaide this grant has allowed me to follow my dream to move back to Mount Gambier with a full-time job as a pharmacist at UFS Chemist.”

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.

“Since 2007 the program has awarded 142 grants to students at a total cost of $284,000. We are always looking for additional financial contributors to the program so that we can try and keep the number of grants up around 12 to 15 each year,” Mr Stafford said.

View the eligibility criteria and download an application form at www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au/THEG

Applications close on Tuesday 31 March 2020.

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