New scholarship to help disadvantaged students become next generation of nurses
The Order of the Eastern Star Wollongong Chapter 59 gifts $200,000 to UOW to fund 10 years of scholarships
A new partnership between the University of Wollongong (UOW) and The Order of the Eastern Star Wollongong Chapter 59 will have a tangible and far-reaching impact on the lives of nursing students in the Illawarra.
During a launch at the Wollongong campus Nursing Simulation labs today (Tuesday, 10 May), UOW announced that The Order of the Eastern Star Wollongong Chapter 59 had bestowed a $200,000 gift to fund scholarships for nursing students over the next 10 years.
The Wollongong Chapter No 59 Order of the Eastern Star Nursing Opportunity Scholarship will be a three-year scholarship offered each year to a first-year Bachelor of Nursing student, at a value of $7000 per annum. The student will receive $21,000 over their three-year degree. It is the largest nursing scholarship to be offered at UOW.
The scholarship announcement this week coincides with International Nurses Day on Thursday 12 May, a day that marks the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.
The partnership will fund 10 scholarships in the next decade, focusing on helping students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, who have ties to the Illawarra, to achieve their dreams of entering the nursing profession.
Representatives from The Order of the Eastern Star Wollongong Chapter 59 presented the $200,000 gift to UOW during an event today.
Professor Eileen McLaughlin, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, said the scholarship would change the lives of its recipients, which would – in turn – benefit the wider community.
“We are delighted to receive this generous donation from The Order of the Eastern Star Wollongong Chapter 59 and thank them for kindness,” said Professor McLaughlin.
“As the past two years have demonstrated, nurses are absolutely fundamental to the wellbeing of our society. We need nurses from all walks of life, passionate about caring for others, making a difference and advocating for their patients. Helping students who are experiencing disadvantage to fulfil their potential and become the next generation of nurses is an incredibly worthy cause.”
Emeritus Professor John Daly, a BA and Med (Hons) graduate of UOW from the 1980s who is now Interim Head of the School of Nursing, said the University is proud to have such a strong track record in producing outstanding nurses.
“Nurses are a precious resource, and I think that COVID-19 has thrown that fact into very stark relief,” Professor Daly said.
“Each year, this scholarship will ease the burden and help level the playing field for a student who, for whatever reason, might come from a disadvantaged background. It is marvellous to help a young student achieve their fullest potential, particularly a person who might not have considered university a possibility, and to receive a professional qualification in nursing.”
Janelle Love, Worthy Matron for The Order of the Eastern Star Wollongong Chapter 59, said that through the scholarship, the Chapter wanted to support the next generation of nurses.
“When the idea of a scholarship was first proposed, our members greeted it with enthusiasm. It was a natural progression to pursue this with our own local University, which has always had an outstanding academic reputation,” Ms Love said.
“During our discussions with the UOW team, it was very clear early on that the medical field, in particular nursing, was where our focus would be. If we have learnt nothing else in the past two years, it is that our nurses are on the frontline 24/7, and it is hoped that this scholarship will encourage and support those who have a vocation for nursing to embrace it as a career.”
Applications for the inaugural scholarship are now open for first-year Bachelor of Nursing students studying at UOW’s Wollongong Campus. More information is available on the UOW scholarships website.
In future years, this scholarship will be open earlier, so students intending to enrol as first-year nursing students are able to apply before commencing their studies.
The Wollongong Chapter No 59 Order of the Eastern Star Nursing Opportunity Scholarship will support students who experience financial, social and educational disadvantages and have strong ties to the Illawarra region.