First recipients of SARRAH scholarships

First recipients of SARRAH scholarships

19 May 2011

La Trobe University Bendigo students Meg Stonehouse and Rebecca Clohesy are the very first recipients of the Services Australian Rural and Regional Allied Health (SARRAH) undergraduate scholarship and the Regional Development Victoria’s Rural Skills Cadetship since the La Trobe Rural Health Occupational Therapy Program began in 2009.

Bendigo rural Health schoolOriginally from Mooroopna, Meg Stonehouse was awarded the $20,000 SARRAH scholarship and says the funding will help assist with further study and give her more opportunities to develop professionally.

‘Funding from the scholarship will help me to maintain a better balance by reducing some of the stressors and financial pressures of uni and work life,’ she says.

Fellow student Rebecca Clohesy from the Bulloke Shire says she is very happy with the result of being a part of the Cadetship program which provides six weeks per year of paid work with a certified occupational therapist within the Mallee region.

‘I look forward to gaining some hands-on experience in the field before graduating as I strongly believe occupational therapy as a profession is a way to give back to the community,’ she says.

Dr Carol McKinstry coordinator of the La Trobe Rural Health Occupational Therapy Program says Meg and Rebecca’s achievement reinforces the ethos of the La Trobe Rural Health School (LRHS) which is about providing tertiary health education for rural and regional communities and helping to provide a local health workforce for the long-term.

‘I know Rebecca and Meg have very strong links with their home communities through work and other activities.  We want to encourage students to maintain these community links when they graduate and join the workforce,’ Dr McKinstry says. 

Meg and Rebecca are part of the first cohort of students in the Program and have enjoyed their time studying at La Trobe University.

‘The support from the staff and other students at La Trobe has been overwhelming they are all extremely friendly and eager to help.  The Occupational Therapy program is growing and will continue to grow to meet the students’ needs,’ Rebecca says. 

Meg believes the University is always looking for ways to provide for students, especially those studying in rural areas.

‘Studying at the Bendigo campus has allowed me to develop close working relationships with staff and as a student it’s great that staff know you by your name, you’re definitely not just a number!’ She says.

For More information, please contact:

Meghan Lodwick

La Trobe University Communications Officer
T: 03 9479 5353 E: M.Lodwick@latrobe.edu.au

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