Shannon Tucker awarded 2019 Dr William Hunter Scholarship

Shannon Tucker will receive a significant boost to complete her nursing degree, after being awarded the 2019 Dr William Hunter Scholarship.

The second year nursing student was named this year’s scholarship winner, at a special presentation held at Moree Town and Country Club on Friday.

“I’m very excited,” she said.

“It’s a big help to know you don’t have to worry so much about the cost of being away.”

Shannon is just about to start her second year of nursing at Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast and said the $5,000 scholarship will go a long way this year, particularly as she is required to undertake about 60 hours of work placements.

“It will go to rent mostly,” she said.

“But also books and accommodation. I go away a lot on placements and accommodation can be very expensive. This means I won’t have to worry about where that money will come from.”

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As a condition of the scholarship, winners are required to undertake two weeks of placement in the local area, to give them experience working rurally in the hopes they might consider coming back to a rural area at the completion of their degree.

Shannon, who grew up in Moree and went through all her schooling locally – at St Philomena's until the end of year 10 and then Moree Secondary College for year 11 and 12, graduating in 2016 – said a career in nursing was always something she has been interested in.

“I love it,” she said of her degree.

“I’ve always had an attraction to doing something like nursing. I have nurses in the family and wanted to do something in the health industry to be able to help people. I felt like nursing was the best place to do that.”

Dr William Hunter AM, who the scholarship is named after, made the presentation to Shannon on Friday and said she’s a “perfect” recipient.

“She’s passionate about her career and passionate about working in the countryside, hopefully here in Moree,” he said.

This year, three other applicants were awarded partial scholarships.

Sarah Hamilton from Crooble, Sarah Hamilton from Moree and Shannon Baker from Warialda each received $2,000 to go towards the costs involved in their nursing degrees.

This year’s interview panel was made up of Dr William Hunter, Jean Gall and Dr Di Coote from Warialda.

The Dr William Hunter scholarship was established by the Barwon Division of General Practice in 2004, coinciding with the retirement of Dr William Hunter, a rural GP and surgeon who served the Moree district for more than 40 years.

The scholarship aims to support students studying medicine, allied health and nursing from the Moree Plains, Warialda, Bingara or Collarenebri districts. 

Since its inception, the scholarship has supported 24 students.

Financial donations help fund the scholarship and the Barwon Health Alliance welcomes sponsors who wish to donate money.

If you're interested in sponsoring the scholarship, call Healthwise CEO Fiona Strang on (02) 6752 7196.