I can say, with confidence, that my AVCAT scholarship in its symbolic, and financial power, has given me the reach I needed to grab ahold of my dreams and aspirations.
By Nicholas Meins
When asked to write my story I was initially at a loss at how to start, what to write, and what to leave out. In the end, it made sense to begin with the man who made it possible for me to receive a scholarship in the first place, by his service in the RAAF, and the fact that he was the one who told me about it. That man is my grandfather – Harry Meins.
Since I can remember, my grandfather has been a man of merit. He worked his entire life in the Royal Australian Air Force, one could even say that he gave his entire life to the RAAF. To say that he has an impeccable work ethic would be an understatement, and it is from him that I learnt the value of persistence, and toil.
However, Grandpa isn’t always about work; to this day, my father – Grandpa’s son, reminisce about the days when the two of them would attend the many Christmas parties held at the barracks and have an absolute blast. This is the sort of man my Grandfather is – serious and driven, but also someone who can let loose occasionally.
When I told Grandpa that I had given up computer science to pursue the study of medicine he was over the moon, not because I was going to be a doctor, but because I was finally doing something that I was passionate about. Something that got me out of bed every morning with a smile on my face. He always says that working in a field in which you’re passionate doesn’t feel like work at all, and whilst I am working harder than I ever have before, these words have kept me going.
Time has not been kind to Grandpa, and as I write my story his is slowly ending. The ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease are slowly taking away his fine motor skills, and his speech. Soon it will also take his memories, like the tearing of pages from a book. In this way, the AVCAT scholarship takes on a symbolic quality – it reminds me of him, and why he thought I should apply for it in the first place. Whilst it is tragic that my Grandfather is afflicted with this disease, I know that the experience will make me a more empathetic doctor.
My AVCAT TLC Scholarship has supported me in more ways than I could imagine. I would like to thank AVCAT and everyone involved in making this scholarship possible for me, and for future AVCAT scholars. I can say, with confidence, that my AVCAT scholarship, in its symbolic, and financial power, has given me the reach I needed to grab ahold of my dreams and aspirations.
Nicholas was awarded the AVCAT TLC Scholarship in 2020.