Transforming the lives of Indigenous students

Beyond a lifetime: the gift of education

Dr Beryl Collier

Unleashing new with a scholarship can transform the lives of others in a phenomenal way. A single idea, belief or value is often all it takes. That is what happened in the case of Dr Beryl Collier, who understood that opportunity is hard to come by without education or support.

Following a successful career as an obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Beryl Collier became acutely aware of the barriers Indigenous people faced in accessing tertiary education.

A bequest from Dr Collier's estate established the Dr Collier Indigenous Scholarship to help students from the University of Newcastle's Central Coast campus access higer education and achieve their goals.

"Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd go to University one day," says Joni, who left school in Year 7 and spent several years as a street kid in Sydney before making a decision to turn her life around.

With two daughters, one with cystic fibrosis, trying to work and study full time was very difficult. Joni says being awarded the scholarship changed her life on many levels, eased the financial burden and helped her remain committed to her studies.

"Being awarded the scholarship was a huge confidence boost. Knowing that other people could see my potential - even if I was still discovering that for myself - made all the difference.

"While I wasn't able to personally thank Dr Collier, hopefully one day I'll be able to provide the same support for someone else and truly fulfil Dr Collier's dream to give back.

Like Dr Collier, a donation to support scholarships, such as through the University's Shaping Futures Scholarship Fund, can have life-long impact. This is one example of what's possible by leaving a bequest for scholarships that help students unleash their potential.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.