Matthew Flinders Scholarship provides hope for students
After a troubling year disrupted by COVID-19, Olivia Jansen is now ready for a new year of study at Flinders University, thanks to support from the Matthew Flinders Scholarship.
In 2020 the Matthew Flinders Scholarship, which provided students in need with $2,000 to help alleviate financial troubles, proved crucial for Olivia as she tried to stay on top of her ongoing health issues and focus on her studies.
Living with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease has made Olivia highly conscious of health issues and good diet – fundamental reasons for her studying a Bachelor of Human Nutrition at Flinders. But losing her casual hospitality job due to COVID-19 restrictions and not being eligible for Centrelink payments left her struggling to pay for her required weekly medical supplies.
‘I started to get anxious about maintaining my health, and that got me sucked into a growing spiral of worry, which began to affect my studies,’ she says.
‘Getting the Matthew Flinders Scholarship changed everything.’
Alleviating her financial stress helped put Olivia’s mind back on her studies, enabling her to complete her first year Human Nutrition subjects.
A Matthew Flinders Scholarship supported Olivia during COVID-19 restrictions
The Matthew Flinders Scholarship was established with contributions from President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling and from each member of the senior executive team – underpinning the University’s core ethos of being student centred.
The new scholarship was designed to enable students to navigate difficult times, to ensure they could complete their university studies.
‘Flinders University has always been a champion of social justice. If this means anything, it is that those with the ability to succeed through education should be given the opportunity to do so,' says Vice-Chancellor Professor Stirling.
Awareness of the number of students facing hardship gained momentum and a ground-swell of support for the Matthew Flinders Scholarship came from across the University community, including many alumni, staff and friends.
So far, the scholarship has supported more than 1,900 domestic and international students at Flinders who were struggling to pay for food, rent and bills.
The generosity of support has also shown the students that the Flinders community cares about them and their wellbeing – a comfort that has created a renewed motivation for students to focus on their studies and achieve their best.
‘I have been amazed that Flinders has provided such fantastic support to students,’ says Olivia. ‘It has made a world of difference to me and it’s been great to feel the support of the whole community at Flinders.’
The support offered from the University community is incredible. Just knowing that everyone has created a strong support network for those that are struggling is comforting.
The Matthew Flinders Scholarship allowed me to calm down and take a deep breath. I felt that I was not alone and that there was support.
Thank you so much! To receive a scholarship was amazing and I honestly do not know what I would do financially without it.
I would like to express my deep gratitude to all the donors who are very kind-hearted when willing to support those who are suffering from financial hardship because of the pandemic. I wish you all the best things in life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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