Port Fairy's Rachel Mahony has been announced the 2019 George Golding Memorial Scholarship recipient for her excellence in medical studies and strong passion for rural and remote health.
The $5000 scholarship was presented to the medical student by Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) at a breakfast presentation in Geelong on Thursday.
Ms Mahony grew up in Port Fairy in south-west Victoria and has experienced firsthand the shortage of doctors within rural areas of Australia.
She started her degree as a Doctor in Medicine (MD) at Deakin University, Waurn Ponds this year with the ultimate goal to establish a career in the south-west region.
She said the $5000 scholarship will relieve some financial pressure and assist her to devote as much time as possible to the things she loves most; volunteering within the community, participating in sport and studying to ensure she excels within her learning which will ultimately assist in becoming the best doctor she can be.
"I will use the scholarship money to bring the technology I consistently use every day within lectures, medical science practicals and clinical skills workshops up to date," she said.
"I intend to use some of the scholarship to assist in purchasing a computer that will work in line with the technology I currently have.
"Updating this technology will enable me to gain access to current programs and apps that at present I cannot access. This will enhance my learning in the most efficient way possible."
The aspiring doctor also has a strong involvement with the Nestles Rowing Club in Warrnambool, where she has moved from competing at an elite level to coaching, volunteering and assisting young aspiring athletes, individuals with intellectual disabilities and adults who attend for basic fitness.
She has always wanted to practice in the south-west.
"More importantly this scholarship will provide me with the opportunity to develop ongoing relationships with general practitioners and specialists within the south-west region, the professionals I aspire to become," she said.
The chance to learn from those I aspire to become will assist me in successfully achieving my dream of becoming a well-rounded, appreciated and successful general practitioner within south-west of Victoria.Rachel Mahony
"The chance to learn from those I aspire to become will assist me in successfully achieving my dream of becoming a well-rounded, appreciated and successful general practitioner within south-west of Victoria."
Western Victoria PHN chief executive officer Dr Leanne Beagley said the purpose of the Dr George Golding Memorial Trust is to promote education in the area of medical practice and medical science by recognising academic excellence and providing financial assistance through the provision of scholarships, bursaries or prizes to students.
"The Trust also aims to support the development of stronger connections between students, general practitioners, specialists and the Deakin University Medical School," she said.
"Rachel is a very worthy recipient of this award. She is excelling in her academic studies and has a strong passion for rural and remote health which she aspires to work in."
The scholarship is in memory of Dr George Golding, founder and CEO of the General Practitioners Association of Geelong, now Western Victoria PHN, who during his life devoted his time and expertise to the education and mentoring of medical students, registrars and GPs.
Applicants were asked to think how the Scholarship would help in their medical studies at Deakin, allow them to develop an interest in general practice, enhance community service and improve leadership skills.
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