Pictured at the Port Pirie scholarship presentation were, from left, Uni Hub Spencer Gulf CEO Anita Crisp, scholarship recipient Sonya Murphy, Centacare Catholic Country SA CEO Dr Jen Cleary and Uni Hub Spencer Gulf student services coordinator Kim Gregory.
Two local Social Work students have each received a $2,500 scholarship, thanks to a partnership between Centacare Catholic Country SA and Uni Hub Spencer Gulf.
The scholarships were made available for undergraduate students studying the supported Bachelor of Social Work course through Uni Hub’s Port Pirie and Port Augusta campuses.
The scholarships were awarded this week to Port Augusta student Amanda Parkinson and Port Pirie student Sonya Murphy by Centacare Catholic Country SA CEO Dr Jen Cleary.
Mrs Parkinson said she was extremely pleased to be awarded the Centacare scholarship.
“I’m really happy to receive this financial support – it is going to be a great help with my study for things like text books and helping with childcare – it just takes the financial pressure off,” she said.
Mrs Parkinson, who is married with two children and works part time, said she decided to study through Uni Hub Spencer Gulf as it fit in well with her lifestyle.
“I wanted to study through Uni Hub as it was so local and easy to access,” she said.
She said she knew there was a demand for qualified Social Workers in the region and hoped to work for an organisation like Centacare Catholic Country SA in the future.
For Sonya Murphy, receiving the scholarship reinforced that she was ‘on the right track with my studies’.
Ms Murphy is in her second year of her Social Work studies, after spending 17 years working in the hospitality industry.
“As someone who is more mature-aged, it wasn’t easy to make such a major change like this, but I’m so glad I did,” she said.
“I only completed Year 10 and did a few hospitality certificates, so I was amazed when I got accepted (to study a Bachelor of Social Work).”
Centacare CEO, Dr Jen Cleary said she was delighted that Centacare could support local students in their studies. “We employ a significant locally based workforce in each of the communities we work in, so supporting students to learn where they live is a great fit for us,” she added.
Uni Hub Spencer Gulf CEO Anita Crisp said the scholarships highlight the professional career opportunities available in the region for people who might be contemplating university study.
“The goal of Uni Hub is to provide locally accessible and locally supported university study that will help ‘grow our own’ local skilled workforce. The scholarships offered through Centacare Catholic Country SA will help achieve this outcome,” she said.
“We have had really strong growth in the number of students enrolling in the Bachelor of Social Work, supported locally by Uni Hub, which is fantastic. There are certainly a lot of jobs for graduates right here in the region.”
Second photo: Uni Hub Spencer Gulf Social Work student Amanda Parkinson, left, was pictured with Centacare Catholic Country SA CEO Dr Jen Cleary and Uni Hub Port Augusta Coordinator Shanon Pillion.