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Scholarship recipient puts spotlight on health services in country NSW

Sponsor Kieren Bennetts, Award recipient Bethany Clayton, UOW Associate Professor David Garne and Mid-Western Regional Council general manager Brad Cam in Mudgee

The University of Wollongong (UOW) awarded Bachelor of Public Health student Bethany Clayton the 2019 Mudgee Regional Community Scholarship on Wednesday, 3 July 2019.

The annual scholarship worth $2500 per year for the length of the degree has been designed to attract and retain health professionals in the Mid-Western Regional Council area.

Ms Clayton wants improved access to health facilities in her hometown, and to be a part of the solution.

“There’s such a demand for the services of medical professionals and limited access out here,” she said.

“Growing up I’ve seen the health issues around the region, I’ve noticed there’s not great access to mental health services, and even going to the doctor can be really expensive.”

Ms Clayton who works part-time in hospitality said the scholarship has allowed her to devote more time to her studies.

“I’m really enjoying university, all of my classes are really interesting,” she said.

In the first year of a three-year degree, Ms Clayton is keeping an open mind about her career prospects. At this stage, she has her sights set on research. Infectious diseases and chronic diseases like diabetes and mental health conditions are of great interest to Ms Clayton, who wants to do meaningful work that impacts people across the globe.

Mid-Western Regional Council Mayor Des Kennedy said Council is proud to continue its ongoing support of the Mudgee Regional Community Scholarship Award.

The scholarship, established in 2017, has been sponsored by Mid-Western Regional Council, Club Mudgee, Moolarben Coal Operations and Wilpinjong Coal.

“I congratulate Bethany on the hard work and commitment she has demonstrated to receive this award,” Cr Kennedy said.

“I am pleased Council is able to work with Club Mudgee, Moolarben Coal Operations, Wilpinjong Coal and the University of Wollongong to provide this scholarship that will assist in securing much needed high quality, accessible health care services for the Mid-Western Region into the future.

“It is a fantastic initiative that we’re able to support local students pursue a career in health to hopefully one day return to the area to practice these skills.”

Source: UOW

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