May 28, 2020
Foundation Housing has marked National Reconciliation Week by awarding its inaugural Kathleen Gregory Scholarship to further the study goals of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tenants to two recipients.
The number and quality of applications received for the initially single Kathleen Gregory Scholarship prompted Foundation Housing to award an additional scholarship to enable two equally deserving applicants to have the opportunity to undertake study. Another educational and development scholarship open to all tenants and residents was also awarded.
The Kathleen Gregory Scholarship, named in honour of Foundation Housing’s founding CEO who retired in 2019, is specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tenants and aims to enable the recipients to build their capacity by providing financial assistance to access further education and training that might otherwise be out of reach.
One of the Kathleen Gregory recipients Mahala Woods (pictured with Kathleen Gregory and current Foundation Housing CEO Chris Smith) said she couldn’t believe it when she received the call that her application had been successful. Mum to two young boys and a Foundation Housing tenant since 2017, she said she thought she would take a chance and apply. Mahala says she is extremely grateful for the scholarship that will help her finish her Diploma of Nursing through Aboriginal training provider Marr Mooditj. Having previously worked in Aged Care, Mahala decided to enrol in the Diploma of Nursing so she could become a nurse to help address the health issues within her Aboriginal community.
Nurse Program Manager at Marr Mooditji, Mary, says “Mahala is a hardworking and dedicated student who always displays a positive attitude in class. To be awarded the Kathleen Gregory scholarship from Foundation Housing will no doubt provide her with the financial security to see her graduate and become a successful Enrolled Nurse.”
Kathleen Gregory, who was on the scholarship application review panel, said “I was very happy to read Mahala’s application. By supporting an Aboriginal nurse to enter the health system, the scholarship will have a potentially even wider and long-lasting impact.”
Mahala joins Melissa* who will use the Kathleen Gregory Scholarship to assist her to complete her Diploma of Graphic Design with South Regional TAFE, and Jonathon Stoney who will use his Foundation Housing Scholarship to complete a dual qualification in Aged Care and Health Assistance Studies with North Metro TAFE.
Foundation Housing plans to offer to the scholarships again in 2021.
* Melissa requested we not disclose her identity publicly due to personal reasons.