Tertiary health grants support local students

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Tertiary health grants support local students

Local tertiary students pursuing health-related studies that require relocation to other areas are being invited to apply for the Mount Gambier and District Tertiary Health Education Grants Program.

The program provides local students with a $2000 grant to help them complete their tertiary studies within the health field.

Chairperson Rodney Summers said the program delivers a unique community-led response to local essential skill shortages within the health sector.

“The program supports students from Mount Gambier as they pursue health-related studies not currently available in Mount Gambier. By investing in their education, we aim to build a skilled workforce as they look to return to our city and contribute to Mount Gambier’s health care sector,” he said.

“Students can use the grants to assist with costs directly associated with their studies, such as university fees, medical uniforms, equipment, books, travel and living expenses.”

In 2023, eight grants were provided to students who studied in different health areas, including medicine, physiotherapy, psychology, occupational therapy, and paramedic science.

Grant recipient from 2023 Georgia Duncan continues to complete a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy through Deakin University.

“The grant helped me pay for my accommodation during this time and support myself financially while I was unable to participate in paid work,” Miss Duncan said.

PROGRAM SUPPORTER: 2016 Tertiary Health Education Grant recipient Alycia Pitson has returned to Mount Gambier and is currently working as an occupational therapist at Country Health Connect at the Mount Gambier Hospital.

“For me, this grant not only serves as a financial boost but also as a source of motivation and encouragement to excel in my studies and contribute meaningfully to the health care community.

“Upon completion of my degree, I look forward to bringing my learned experience and knowledge to support the Mount Gambier community and promote independence and health.”

Occupational therapist Alycia Pitson received the Tertiary Health Education Grant in 2016 while she was completing a Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) through the University of Adelaide.

“Receiving the grant allowed me to complete the first year of my degree without having to work a part time job in Adelaide so I could focus on my studies,” she said.

Mrs Pitson has since returned to Mount Gambier and is currently working as an occupational therapist at Country Health Connect at the Mount Gambier Hospital.

“Job opportunities working in health in regional areas are very broad compared to the city and provide great experience,” she said.

“I work with paediatric clients and their families to achieve their goals and support their development. I get to meet so many beautiful children in my role and work within a multi-disciplinary team to support their families.

“I would definitely recommend anyone interested in the grant to apply. It is special to know that our local councils and community are so supportive of students moving away for further study. The grants are helpful and a great way to encourage students to move back to Mount Gambier when they graduate and contribute to the workforce and the community in the future.”

The Mount Gambier and District Tertiary Health Education Grants program is supported by City of Mount Gambier, Grant District Council, 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.

Visit www.mountgambier.sa.gov.au/THEG to view the eligibility criteria and application form.

Applications close on March 31.

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