Scholarship students step up to coronavirus challenge

Published: 12 May 2020

Congratulations to this year’s crop of successful Mineworkers Trust Scholarship recipients. Twenty students across the country have been awarded the $6250 scholarship to support their studies. However, just as the academic year got underway the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted their studies.

Georgia Hughes was just three weeks into her Bachelor of Paramedicine studies at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne when face to face learning was suspended and she has moved to online learning.

It has been tough being unable to do any practical work, however it has allowed her to move back home to Traralgon where she grew up and her dad, CFMEU Member David Hughes, works at Loy Yang B power station.

So far, Georgia has loved the hands on nature of her paramedicine studies – “it’s very exciting, I always hated the idea of an office job”. She hopes to become a fully qualified paramedic and then further advance her studies to become an intensive care paramedic.

The scholarship made a big difference to her, especially with covering temporary accommodation to relocate to Melbourne to start her degree.

Ari Patison from Avondale in the Illawarra is also committed to saving lives and supporting people’s health, beginning her Bachelor of Medical Studies/ Doctor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales in Sydney this year.

Ari has moved to online learning, with practical learning including hospital sessions currently suspended. The scholarship assisted her to relocate to a rental in Sydney to reduce travel time and allow her to focus on her studies, but she has also temporarily moved home due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Ari, whose dad Jack Patison works at Appin mine, has a long family history in coal, with her grandfather and great grandfather working in southern district coal mines. She will be required to work in rural or remote areas after the completion of her degree and hopes to work in mining communities.

“I feel as if without the opportunities that the mining industry has provided my family, I would not have had the opportunity to study the Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine,” she says. “For this I am extremely grateful, and I hope that I will be able to repay the industry by providing medical care to those in this community.”

Well done to Ari, Georgia and all of this year’s scholarship recipients. 

Mineworkers Trust scholarships are awarded each year to CFMEU Mining and Energy members, family members and dependent who are undertaking study diploma level or higher at TAFE or university.

They are assessed independently. Applications for 2021 will be available towards the of this year.

List of this year's winners