Angela Redfern – AVCAT Alumni

I am so grateful to have received the Long Tan Bursary and thus been able to pursue a career where I can assist on the very same surgeries that were performed on my father those many years ago in Vietnam.

AVCAT Alumni Angela Redfern spoke about her experience as an AVCAT Scholar and recipient of the Long Tan Bursary at the 2022 WA Scholarship Presentation Event. Angela has kindly allowed us to publish an excerpt of her speech.

L-R: Robyn Richardson; Sofie Gilmartin; Nicci Thatcher; Peter King; Micahel Lundy; Angela Redfern


I am honoured to speak to you today about how the Long Tan Bursary has made an exponential contribution to my life.

My father has been telling the same story for as long as I can remember; how his service in Vietnam was cut short by a truck accident. He sustained a number of injuries requiring skull and facial surgery, skin grafts and an ear reconstruction. Not only did this make me appreciate his profound sacrifice in serving the Australian army, but it also ignited my passion for medicine and set my sights on becoming a doctor.

Angela Redfern

However, once I got to high school I realised that becoming a doctor was going to be more difficult than I anticipated. I was never the smartest person in the class and didn’t receive the 99 ATAR that was needed to get into medicine. What I did receive however was the Long Tan Bursary. Receiving this bursary during my undergraduate degree contributed immensely to my career path. I was able to buy a laptop for university, textbooks for my classes and the financial freedom to go out for coffee with my friends.

Additionally, the support I received from AVCAT extends far beyond financial value, by giving me the time to pursue hobbies and give back to the community.

In 2017 I was able to join a program called Swim for Refugees that offers free swimming lessons to parents and children from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. This program kept me grounded during my undergraduate years and allowed me some respite after a long week of studying. Today this program continues to fuel my soul and I have since become the volunteer coordinator of the program.

The most pivotal thing that this bursary has allowed me to do is to apply for medical school. The bursary allowed me to pay for the GAMSAT test for medical school, as well as practice papers and the medical school application itself. Had I not received this scholarship, I would not have even had the funds to apply for medical school.

Robyn Richardson; Angela Redfern; Peter King

Additionally being a recipient of the Long Tan bursary gave me confidence during the application and interview process as it symbolises the fact that someone believes in you and believes that you can achieve your dreams and ambitions.

Today I am in the penultimate year of my medical degree and am currently on my first surgical rotation. Reflecting on this, I am so grateful to have received the Long Tan Bursary and thus been able to pursue a career where I can assist on the very same surgeries that were performed on my father those many years ago in Vietnam.

I urge you to make the most of your scholarship by pursuing every opportunity presented to you, whether that is volunteering, extra study time, work experience, finding your passions, or time catching up with your friends.

Finally, a piece of advice to the recipients of the Long Tan Bursary; I urge you to make the most of your scholarship by pursuing every opportunity presented to you, whether that is volunteering, extra study time, work experience, finding your passions, or time catching up with your friends. Congratulations on this incredible achievement and I wish you all the best in your future careers.

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