The Canberra Campus recently staged the ACU Foundation's Scholarships, Bursaries, Faculty Prizes and Awards ceremony for 2016. Scholarships and awards are a vital part of ACU’s development and partnership objectives and are critical to student life.
That support makes such a difference to our students’ capacity to contribute, to participate fully in University life and to move into their various professions.
The ceremony hosted by Associate Professor Patrick McArdle, Campus Dean was attended by about 140 guests who witnessed various awards recognising an array of accomplishments, including academic excellence, community engagement and contribution, and professional values and excellence being presented.
Laura the lifesaver
Laura Bishop, the recipient of the Calvary John James Hospital – Excellence in Nursing and Paramedicine Scholarship delivered the ceremony’s vote of thanks. When Laura was 12 years old, she experienced an event that was traumatic but unbeknown to her at the time; it was to shape her future.
In August 2008, she has just arrived home from school and her sister Caitlin was 10 years old was home sick from school. Her mother was holding her seven-week old baby sister Ella when Ella stopped breathing and began to go limp.
Ella was given CPR but she was not responding by the time Laura called 000. Laura was able to relay lifesaving instructions to her mother and together they were able to save Ella’s life. Ella was breathing again when the ambulance arrived.
Laura and her sister Caitlin were both awarded the Ambulance Service of NSW Star Awards and later appeared in a television program called Triple Zero Heroes. At 12 years of age, Laura’s future career was decided and she knew she wanted more than anything to help people and save lives.
She has moved away from family and friends in Thurgoona NSW to pursue her studies in Nursing/Paramedicine and the scholarship has helped her immensely to fund her text books, uniforms and accommodation.
Special new donors
The evening also saw the presentation of the newly established Aspen Medical Prizes and the Veolia Mulwaree Trust Scholarships. Aspen Medical is an Australian-owned, multi award-winning, global provider of guaranteed and innovative healthcare solutions across a diverse range of sectors and we are very privileged to have Aspen as a supporter of our students. In addition, the Veolia Mulwaree Trust established two scholarships to support student from ACU in need who completed their HSC or equivalent in, or reside in, any one of its seven local government areas.
In memory of his nursing wife
The evening ended with John Mitchell, the donor to the Sue Mitchell Nursing scholarship donating a sum of $25,000 to establish the scholarship in perpetuity. John and Sue are both descendants of distinguished Snowy Mountains’ families and are long-term residents of Corryong and Snowy Mountains region. Sue trained and worked as a nurse in the region around Corryong, Victoria and sadly passed away after a brave battle with cancer eight years ago.
In his speech, John mentioned the excessive costs students from regional/rural areas need to source for before entering university and it is his wish to help future nurses and paramedics as much as he can to make the transition from regional/rural areas to university as smooth as possible. The Sue Mitchell Nursing Scholarship is awarded to first, second or third year student living in a rural or regional area of Australia, undertaking the Bachelor of Nursing or the Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Paramedicine.
The ACU Foundation would like to express its deep appreciation to all generous donors, partners and supporters. No University can exist as a singular, standalone entity. If they are not part of a community, they will soon cease to have a meaningful purpose. In the case of ACU born of the tangible needs of the Australian community for educators, health and welfare professionals, our purpose is to serve. It is the effort and support that we receive enables us to do the work that we do in the community and to shape the professionals of the future.