Scholarship, Oct 2015 | Change

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The results for the round ending October 2015 ("Changing the World") are now finalised. The winner of the scholarship round is

  • Improving Neurological Medicine by A. Atkins.

Ms Atkins gets a no-strings cash award of $2,000.

We hope she makes good use of the prize to further her ambitions to contribute to medical research.

Runner-Up Entries

Based on the judges' scores, 4 runner-up entries were determined. Each receives a cash award of $200. The runner-up entries for this round are:

  • Changing Nurses
  • The Warmth of Reprieve
  • Life...
  • Born for a Purpose


The winning and runner-up entries were chosen by a 5-person panel, consisting of:

  • Dr Andrew Lancaster (founder of UniCurve)
  • Jason Scott (Bloomberg reporter)
  • Sandra Lancaster (school teacher)
  • Bernadette Smon (communications consultant)
  • Richard Snabel (Group Director, Building Queensland).

Each judge chose their top 5 entries from the shortlisted entries (which have all been published on this site). Scores were assigned (5 for the top entry, 4 for second, 3 for third, etc) for each judge's selections. Scores were then added to decide the overall winner and runner-up entries.


Improving Neurological Medicine

~ by A. Atkins, who is studying for a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree with the University Of New England.

Have you ever been told that your rare and progressive neurological condition has no specific treatment protocol? I have.

Have you ever been told that your only hope to slow the progression is a harsh chronic treatment regime consisting of high dose steroids and cytotoxic drugs, usually reserved for oncology patients? I have.

Maybe you've been told these things, too. I know I'm not alone in my trials and that’s what sparked my passion for the biomedical sciences and medicine.

Neuroscience is such a young science with many discoveries waiting to be made. I believe that passionate, driven minds can make all the difference to the future of medicine, allowing us to uncover the keys to many of our rare and debilitating neurological illnesses.

Online study has been a huge blessing, allowing me to pursue my passion while managing my health as well. Currently, it would be impossible for me to study full-time on campus. But I am able to manage and stay focused from home with my online degree. This gives me everlasting hope that I will be able to reach my goals, continually dream bigger, and improve neurological medicine for future generations.

Changing Nurses

~ by Sonja, who is studying for a Bachelor of Nursing degree with Charles Darwin University

The plane comes in and the nurses leave again. They can't wait; they have just spend 3 months in my small town. The new nurses will be here soon just doing their time.

  • They won't know that the old indigenous fella doesn't speak much English, but his niece does and they don't know to call her.
  • They don't know where things are that first week, when the car rolls over and the young girl from the city is in bad shape and the RFDS plane is waiting.
  • They don't know that the old bushman is allergic to codeine, because he said it was cocaine that made him crook, when he broke his hip as a young man.

I can't head to the city to get my nursing degree; my life is here. But thanks to online study my university is in my kitchen and when the time comes I'll be the nurse that knows that the girl in the spinal collar will have to wait 6 hours before she'll be cleared. I'll know who to ring when the guy with the infected leg hasn't shown up for his dressing change.

My town needs resident nurses; I want to be one.

The Warmth of Reprieve

~ by Scott Nodwell, who wants to study for a Graduate Diploma in Psychology with Monash University

I study to help those around me, the silent, the downtrodden, the angry, the stoic, the sad, and the invisible. There's nothing more powerful than sharing a journey and offering respite, compassion and regard to one's fellow. I wrote this while working with Perth's homeless youth. I hope this will suffice as my essay submission:

To Last

Kind eyed, bare feet,
Tatters of hair and clothes.
Un-lined face, perfect smile,
Whippet thin, waif-keen.

Standing tall for one so small,
But shy, so shy of life.
She has led me through
Slum and broken alley.

My mind from its ruts,
My hands from crossed arms.
My heart from its brittle shelter.
My eyes from blinkered run.

She was the world
To the parents she lost,
To the brother who died,
To the place she knew.

Her new family have grown
Around her, lost together.
They are the youth unseen,
Unknown, unsought, unsupported.

To look at them one must say
I know! I feel! We fight for change!
And secretly hope while they play
That this child, at least, will last the day.


~ by Jonathan Bonnet, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science (Criminal Justice) degree with the University of Phoenix

My screen pops open politely but stares at me with eyes of antagonism. My face whiter than the ghost of Julius Caesar. My finger tips are callous and rough from my 12 hour shift. They gently rub my face from the tip of my forehead down to the stubble on my chin. I had no time to shave today let alone write a paper.

The paint on the backspace key is beginning to fade from the amount of times its been abused and pressed. What am I doing? What time is it? Oh god, I have to work in a few hours. I need to maintain this GPA.

I sit at my desk in my room looking for strength. I turn and see my pregnant wife and daughter laying on the bed asleep. Wow, its 1 a.m. I walk over to my little girl still in her frozen slippers. She always refused to take them off. I remove them, then gently rub her hair. My eyes focus on her and for a brief moment in time I stop and remember why... Isabella, baby this is for you and your baby brother Noah. These days are for you. I love you guys.

Born for a Purpose

~ by Paulisha Townson, who wants to study for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with the University of Phoenix

I am writing you today to tell you about how I plan to change the world with my bachelor degree in Nursing.

26 years ago on a cold January morning, I was seriously burnt (over 20% of my body). My body was in shock, so, thankfully, I felt no pain for some time. I do however remember the sound of my own flesh falling to the floor – something I wish no one experiences. As a 7 year old, that was a lot to handle.

The nurses who took care of me went above and beyond the call to make me comfortable and happy. One nurse in particular took my order every morning for what I wanted for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Little did I know this nurse went out and bought / cooked whatever I asked for. If you are wondering what it was I had asked for, oh just the typical 7 year old cravings: Lucky Charms, pizza, chocolate pudding and cheese popcorn.

These great nurses are the reason I am a LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) now. I would like my nursing degree so I may be able to work in the paediatric burns unit and touch young children's lives, like my life was touched and forever changed those many years ago.