Kel-sie van Rees

While I am a little bit scared, I am also extremely excited, and knowing that I have the support of AVCAT makes me feel secure. Thank you AVCAT so much, you have helped a country kid move to the city and chase her dreams.

By Kel-sie van Rees

My name is Kel-sie van Rees and I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Long Tan Bursary in 2019. My family has a long-standing, generational commitment to the Australian Navy and Army. The man closest to me who served our country was my Grandfather, Charlie. He served in the Vietnam War as a radio signaller in the artillery.

Growing up I was privileged to have a close relationship with my grandfather who was very active in my life. I can attribute transport to extra-curricular activities, sports, work and early to school for online-learning to the dedication of my grandfather. I was able to strive to excel at my education due to my family.

I worked at a pharmacy for 5 years which provided me with an insight to healthcare. I knew that I wanted to be a healthcare professional by the end of 2019 but was unsure where I wanted to specialise.

At the beginning of 2020 I began a pathway to medicine by commencing a Bachelor of Biomedicine. I soon realised that biomedicine was not my passion. I am extremely grateful for the support AVCAT provided to me while changing degrees. I am now really enjoying studying a Bachelor of Midwifery, still on my pathway to a career in medicine.

In midwifery I have to complete a large number of unpaid hospital placements, and follow 20 women through pregnancy, birth, and the postnatal period as a requirement to graduate. This consumes a large amount of my time in a week. This requirement is made bearable knowing that I have the financial support of AVCAT. As an 18-year-old woman living 1800 kilometres away from home, with minimal family support in the city, this scholarship means the world to me.

I am commencing my second year of midwifery and I am overly excited to see the opportunities this year has for me. While I am a little bit scared, I am also extremely excited, and knowing that I have the support of AVCAT makes me feel secure. Thank you AVCAT so much, you have helped a country kid move to the city and chase her dreams.

The Long Tan Bursary scheme is named after the Battle of Long Tan, the best‑known battle fought by Australians during the Vietnam War. The scheme provides funding to help eligible children and grandchildren of Australian Vietnam veterans meet the cost of post‑secondary education and to help them obtain formal qualifications and skills needed to pursue their chosen career. Register your interest in AVCAT scholarships and the Long Tan Bursary here.

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