Matthew Flinders Scholarship
Flinders University Social Work graduate Lucia Vaiciulevicius has supported communities across Australia, she is now changing lives as a donor to the Matthew Flinders Scholarship for students in financial need.
The daughter of post-war Lithuanian migrants, Lucia grew up Hobart but had her sights set on travel soon after leaving high school. For years she picked up jobs as she travelled across Australia, living in Darwin for some time before being drawn to Adelaide for a customer service role in government.
At night Lucia volunteered as a Lifeline counsellor, supporting the community and picking up important skills that would benefit her future role as a social worker.
“In the public service study was encouraged so I returned to study as a mature age student,” says Lucia who began her Bachelor of Social Work at Flinders in 1994.
After graduating Lucia became a social worker in a government support agency, where she was always on the lookout for opportunities. “A colleague once told me, ‘if you are offered an opportunity then always say yes’.”
Lucia believes it’s up to all of us to contribute where we can.
As a result, Lucia continued her travelling lifestyle for many years by taking up short-term social work roles as they arose – working in many city and rural government offices across the state and creating new support programs as she went.
She says, “In Port Augusta I worked to address the high suicide rate and issues for the Indigenous population.”
Hugely compassionate, Lucia says a highlight of her working life was in palliative care where she supported families as their loved one passed away. She is also proud of her work with parents of children with severe disability and the development of a national carer support program.
Lucia is now retired but with her generous spirit she wants to help our next generation through education and has become an annual donor to the Matthew Flinders Scholarship for students in financial need. She believes the better educated a society, the greater that society is.
“My parents instilled the value of obtaining an education and the value of supporting others less fortunate than yourself,” says Lucia who understands the financial difficulties impacting our students.
“I hope that by donating to the Matthew Flinders Scholarship I can provide an opportunity for a student to complete their studies, find their passions and contribute positively to their community.”
She also believes it’s up to all of us to contribute where we can.
“In a country where the minority have more wealth than the majority, it is incumbent on the former to provide financial support to make society more equitable.”
You can provide vital support for students by donating to the Matthew Flinders Scholarship.
100% of your donation will support students in financial need. All donations $2 and over are tax-deductible within Australia.
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