2016 scholarship stories
Amber – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Amber’s dream is to set up a permaculture wicking garden in her half-acre block in Bungendore in order to provide her with better nutrition, meditation, exercise and the opportunity to share knowledge with her son and husband. → Show more. The new garden will support her current efforts to remain strong and well, both mentally and physically, for as long as possible.
Amber will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards the purchase of raised garden beds, soil, composter bins, fruit trees and vegetable seedlings.
“I believe that spending time in the garden will not only strengthen my muscles, created better fitness, keep weight at a realistic and healthy level and provide quiet time for meditation, it will also give me something active and interesting to do,” Amber says.
Michael Bradley – Music
Music is a very strong part of Michael’s life. He sings in the ANU choir, listens to music and subscribes to orchestras and theatres. → Show more.
Michael’s dream is to learn to play the piano, as it requires complete concentration with strong mind-body coordination. He will use his Go for Gold scholarship to purchase an electronic piano and lessons for 12 months.
As Michael says, “To play the piano will give me the opportunity to help rebuild my cognitive faculties and to enhance an important passion that has been with me all my life.”
Erin Hogan – Travel
Erin is turning 30 this year and will celebrate her milestone birthday by going on a cruise with her sister, allowing her to have fun, relax and take a break from a life that revolves around the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. → Show more. Holidaying with her sister would be a very special and memorable time for both of them.
Erin dreams of spoiling herself while on the cruise and will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards shopping on board, going to the day spa and participating in extra activities.
“I could literally have the time of my life,” Erin says. “I would love to experience that feeling of no-guilt spending and being able to do anything I want. I have never had the opportunity to experience this.”
Nadine Firestone – Employment
Nadine is a creative person with exceptional computer skills who has embraced writing and graphic design as a medium to connect with society. → Show more. Nadine will use her Go for Gold scholarship to purchase components to build a computer from scratch in order to ensure she has the accessories that will allow her to work from home in the future. It will also provide her with the opportunity to make new friends, as she will attend classes in graphic design at the Canberra Institute of Technology.
“The graphic designer dream would provide me with independence to work from home and with the opportunity to help people through volunteering to produce graphic art material,” Nadine says.
Lorna – Music
Lorna is a poet who also composes songs and hymns. Her work is currently being typeset and will hopefully be published and archived. → Show more. Lorna will use her Go for Gold scholarship to purchase a mini keyboard, a laser-jet printer, a tablet and a comb binder in order to turn her words and music into hard copies.
As Lorna says, “If I had this equipment, I would feel able to contribute something to society again. I would be able to grasp the opportunity of having my work archived and get great satisfaction from both in doing it and in knowing it won’t be lost."
Jacqui – The arts
Jacqui is passionate about the art of dance and feels a sense of freedom, excitement and joy while dancing. → Show more. Her dream is not only to see if she can still dance but also to see how far she can go with dancing by entering local eisteddfods in the near future.
Jacqui will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards dance tuition, shoes and costume expenses.
“Achieving this dream I feel would meet my needs socially, emotionally and physically,” Jacqui says.
Mark Slade – Sport
Mark is a very active person who doesn’t allow anything to stop him from doing what he wants to do. → Show more. His dream is to run a half-marathon along the Great Wall of China, which will give him a huge sense of personal accomplishment as well as show others that living with multiple sclerosis does not mean you can’t live your dreams.
Mark will use his scholarship towards return flights to China, marathon entrance, accommodation, meals and insurance.
“Doing my dream will show my family and friends that having multiple sclerosis is not the end of my life but it the start of a new way of living,” Mark says.
Kate – Sport
Kate discovered the sport of rowing 18 months ago, which has been an interesting and rewarding journey for her. → Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship to acquire rowing equipment and undergo assessment testing.
As Kate says, “The scholarship will facilitate continued improvement providing further opportunities. It will help expand the base that I have built and assist me to progress through my sport at state, national and then international level.”
Belinda – Travel
Belinda’s dream is to have a relaxing holiday on a cruise ship. → Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards a seven-night cruise to New Caledonia, as well as for tours while there and clothing for the trip. “If I was able to achieve my dream, I would be a much happier person,” Belinda says.
Cheryl-Ann – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Cheryl-Ann’s dream is to attend the Quest for Life Retreat to assist her find a physical and emotional health balance. → Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards fees for the retreat and petrol expenses to and from Bundanoon.
As Cheryl-Ann says, “Going to this retreat will give me an understanding of how to handle my diagnosis and how to deal with stress and anxiety.”
Erin – Travel
Erin has been invited to present a paper at a landmark conference in Italy with other prominent scholars, who will discuss and share work on the Nobel Prize-winning author JM Coetzee. → Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards flights, accommodation, food allowance, the conference registration fee and sightseeing in Florence.
“The MS Go for Gold Scholarship will make this journey possible for me and would mean the world,” Erin says.
Stuart – Music
Stuart is a very creative person who has designed and built a music sequencer that can be used to control electronic instruments. → Show more. Stuart’s dream is to create kits that would allow other people to build the sequencer themselves, so he will use his Go for Gold scholarship to purchase the materials required.
As Stuart says, “I think it’s amazing that I have gotten this far and I’ve made something that people are really interested in, but to actually produce it as a product would be unbelievable.”
Claire – Education
Claire’s dream is to complete her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology and stay as healthy as possible while doing so. → Show more. In order to achieve her dream, she will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards a computer, a back-up drive and weekly Pilates sessions.
“Being able to achieve this goal will make my very supportive family proud and give us something to really celebrate,” Claire says.
Debra – Travel
Debra’s dream is to visit the sweeping boulevards of Paris, the historic monuments and churches of the Renaissance in Italy and the quaint countryside of England. → Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards transport and accommodation while in Europe.
“To have the opportunity to achieve my dream of seeing this part of the world, and experiencing a variety of cultures and different ways of life, will undoubtedly improve my perspective on life,” Debra says.
Lisa Davis – Travel
Lisa was born in Tasmania and her family contributed to the architecture and employment in the state. → Show more. Her family’s legacy will always remain in the Cat and Fiddle Clock.
Lisa’s dream is to travel with her partner to Tasmania and reconnect with her extended family while there. Lisa will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards a cabin on the Spirit of Tasmania and accommodation while in Hobart.
As Lisa says, “The urge to return to those Hobart surrounds, even the buildings of my earlier life and some still-living people, is strong in me’.
Lyn McCullum – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Lyn’s dream is to create a new high-rise gardens. → Show more. She is an avid gardener and one of the first members of the Seed Savers network, and would like to share her knowledge with her family, friends, and grandchildren.
“Creating the raised beds will not only give me an emotional outcome of what I’ve always dreamed of, but my wellbeing would improve knowing that I can continue gardening and seed saving,” Lyn says.
Kim Worland – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Kim’s dream is to keep actively participating in family and community life. Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship to purchase a Pilates reformer bed, which will provide her with the opportunity to exercise at home and allow her to regain her strength and independence. As Kim says, “Having a reformer at home would literally be a dream come true.”
Heather Ranieri – Employment
Heather makes reclaimed timber jewellery and dreams of increasing her creative business. Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship to build a workshop and to set up a website to sell her pieces online, as well as at markets.
“By receiving a scholarship I can work, create and focus on something positive every day,” Heather says. “I feel like I have a purpose and a future doing what I love for as long as I can.”
Kirsten McLean – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Kirsten’s dream is to improve her health, fitness and wellbeing, which will dramatically increase the amount of quality outdoor time she can spend with her family. Show more. Kirsten will purchase a Greenspeed trike with her Go for Gold scholarship.
As Kirsten says, “Increasing my physical abilities and wellbeing is so important to me as it will mean many more opportunities for quality time with my wonderful husband and our girls.”
Marta Kugler – Travel
Marta’s dream is to share a fun-filled holiday with her husband and sons, and create memories that will last a life time for all of them. Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards travel and accommodation at the Gold Coast and for entrance to theme parks.
“Being able to go to the theme parks will teach my children that you can do it no matter what life throws at you,” Marta says.
Stanley Hunter – Sport
Stanley has a passion for sport, especially football. Show more. He will use his Go for Gold scholarship towards publishing a Buninyong Football club book, which he will distribute among like-minded lovers of football history.
As Stanley says, “This will give me a feeling of accomplishing something worthwhile for other people to enjoy.”
Lydia Osmers – Education
Lydia lives in a nursing home with a large number of Italian-speaking residents and dreams of speaking in Italian with them. Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards private Italian tutoring lessons for an hour each week.
“I think it will make my life easier and richer if I can communicate with my fellow residents,” Lydia says. “I love learning and will be dedicated to my Italian study.”
Joan Walters – Travel
Joan’s dream is to travel with her husband on an extended caravanning holiday in Queensland. → Show more. While there, she will visit her life-long friend, Robyn, and celebrate a milestone birthday together.
As Joan says, “Having time away together in our caravan would not only improve my wellbeing, but it would also give my husband and I quality time to reconnect, share special moments and to create more wonderful memories.”
Shayne Guley – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Shayne’s dream is to continue doing all the things she enjoys, such as travelling, going to events, and shopping with friends. → Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship to purchase a mobility scooter, which will provide her with independence to continue to do what she loves.
“Achieving this dream would have such an incredible impact on both my mental and social health,” Shayne says.
Debra Pope – travel
Debra’s husband is currently on an overseas assignment with the royal Australian Navy and won’t be back home before Christmas. → Show more. Her dream is to spend some time with her husband while his ship is being replenished in Singapore.
Debra will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards flights and accommodation.
“My dream is to arrange for some quality time for my husband and I, as a couple, to strengthen the bonds of our own love and the foundations of our family,” Debra says. “It would be such a gift, to have time just being us for a couple of days.”
Marcin – travel
Marcin has a passion for travel and his dream is to make one more memorable holiday. → Show more. He will use his Go for Gold scholarship towards a trip to Tasmania, where he will travel around the state and visit local attractions.
As Marcin says, “To put it simply, it will be like the old days coming back for a moment; just feeling that adventure is coming, my heart is pumping, and maybe I will be myself once again.”
Libby Byrne – The arts
Libby is a working artist who wants to transition from making large-scale oil paintings to explore the practice of print making. → Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship to purchase a portable etching press and install running water in her studio, which will allow her to pursue her dream of working as a printmaker.
“Achieving this dream would give me hope for my future as a working artist,” Libby says.
Caroline Everett – The arts
Caroline is a talented photographer whose dream is to produce a calendar and a stationery line that incorporate her photos. → Show more. Caroline will use her Go for Gold scholarship to purchase advanced camera lenses and editing software.
“The thought of being able to produce beautiful photographs of the birds, native animals and plants in my area and make something that can be shared with others and enhance everyone’s appreciation of such things has become an almost overwhelming passion for me,” Caroline says.
Clair Price – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Clair is devoted to her husband and two lovely daughters, and dreams of improving her health and wellbeing and making some beautiful lasting memories with her family. → Show more. Clair will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards allied health services, including physiotherapists, acupuncturists and a personal trainer to build herself a stronger body. She will also take a holiday with her family to the Gold Coast and relax by the pool, play with her children and forge a stronger connection with her husband.
As Clair says, “Building a stronger body and watching my family spend quality time together would be very rewarding to me.”
Annette – Education
Annette is a caring person who enjoys connecting with people, learning about their circumstances and helping them overcome barriers that prevent them from achieving their healthcare goals. → Show more. She has always worked in the care industry, first in childcare and currently as a registered nurse.
Annette will use her Go for Gold scholarship to undertake a Diploma of Counselling Studies, which will allow her to remain in the workforce for as long as possible as her new career direction will complement the physical limitations of her multiple sclerosis.
“By obtaining counselling skills, it would open up a new career path for me and enable me to assist others to work through difficulties in their lives, while also helping me to better understand myself,” Annette says.
Rabie – Travel
Rabie has always loved playing soccer and enjoys watching the English Premier League. → Show more. His dream is to travel to the UK and watch his favourite English Premier League team, Arsenal, in a live match.
Rabie will use his Go for Gold scholarship towards flights, accommodation and Arsenal match tickets.
“This will be a great opportunity to travel and bring some happiness into my life,” Rabie says.
Naomi – Music
Naomi is passionate about signing and playing music. → Show more. As well as bringing her delight, she finds it to be a great stress release. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship to attend a music conference in the USA and participate in music workshops.
As Naomi says, “Being involved in music has given me a great deal of satisfaction and hope for the future.”
Linda – Travel
Linda has dedicated herself to learning the Hebrew language over the past few years and now dreams of going to Israel to practice speaking Hebrew and to visit holy sites. → Show more. Linda will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards flights to Tel Aviv and accommodation in Jerusalem.
“I want to prove to myself that I can use the language I spent three years learning every day,” Linda says.
Suzanne – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Suzanne’s dream is to get and remain fit, so she can be strong enough in body and mind to find a job, improve her finances and gain self-confidence. → Show more. Suzanne will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards weekly private Pilates sessions.
“I feel that if I could get back to being active at a good level, I would get my confidence back and then get another job,” Suzanne says.
Robert Harvey – Employment
Robert is a talented photographer who enjoys taking photographs of different subjects and people in various settings. → Show more. He is associated with the Aboriginal Cultural and Resource Centre in the Blue Mountains and photographs their various activities for publication in newspapers and newsletters.
Robert’s dream is to become a professional photographer in his own right. He will use the Gold for Gold Scholarship towards purchasing a professional camera and software, which will enable him to produce more professional photos.
As Robert says, “Using the scholarship towards photography would provide me the necessary means to become a professional photographer.”
Shama Szabo – Education
Shama is a mother of three children who works as a full-time accountant and is studying part-time towards a Bachelor of Commerce Degree. → Show more. Her dream is to progress to a financial accountant position and eventually be the chief financial officer of an organisation.
Shama will use her Gold for Gold scholarship to contribute towards the funding for her degree, as she has only six subjects left to complete.
“It’s so important for me to progress in my career as it has been my dream to be the best at what I do and get to the top,” Shama says.
Pamela Cook – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Pamela dreams of getting a deck built at the back door of her house, which would enable her a flat access to her backyard and provide her with the opportunity to go outdoors each day. → Show more. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards part of the construction of the deck.
As Pamela says, “This deck would help me be a little more independent, give me a sense of freedom, and be an outdoor space to entertain visitors.”
Ken York – Employment
Ken has always dreamt of working with his hands to create things of beauty and really loves working with wood. → Show more. He started to play the banjo about five years ago, which led to him constructing one. He has since built numerous banjos, as well as guitars and a violin.
Ken will use his Go for Gold scholarship to set up a permanent workshop for his business. He will also invest in tools that will simplify the construction of his musical instruments.
“Working for myself has always been a bit daunting, but I now think it would be the best thing for me as I will be doing what I love,” Ken says.
Danielle Riles – Travel
Danielle has been married for nearly two years and has experienced three relapses and two surgeries since her wedding day. → Show more. She dreams of taking a cruise with her husband to experience other cultures together.
Danielle will use her Go for Gold Scholarship towards a Pacific Island cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
“A holiday seems a far off necessity, but I think we need it to step out of our circumstances for a little while,” Danielle says.
Grant Bendeich – Education
Grant is a chef/contract caterer who dreams of obtaining the skills required to ensure that he has an extended working life in an industry he’s incredibly passionate about. → Show more. Grant will use his Go for Gold Scholarship towards attaining a certificate in Small Business Management, which will allow him to keep working and ensure that his mind is kept active.
“Achieving my dream would allow me to have a much better work life balance,” Grant says.
“It will allow me to spend more time with my family and to enjoy watching my grandchildren grow.”
Michelle Willems – Travel
Michelle’s longstanding dream is to visit South Pacific islands with a family member. → Show more. She has had her ‘island dream’ since she was a child and often dressed in hula skirts made from newspaper and tape with her sister.
Michelle will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards a South Pacific island cruise in order to fulfil her dream.
As Michelle says, “To attain my dream goal might just be the beginning of a new and enjoyable life.”
Belinda Faulkner – Employment
Belinda is a self-published children’s book author and illustrator who has created a character called Fairy MeSsy as part of an MS awareness/education service. → Show more. Belinda will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards registering a social entrepreneurship to shine a spotlight on MS, publishing her Fairy MeSsy books and the materials required to construct Fairy MeSsy dolls and outfits.
“Seeing Fairy MeSsy happen would mean the world to me,” Belinda says.
Tracy Anderson – Sport
Tracy is an active person who trains three to four times a week with a personal trainer. → Show more. She has completed courses with Vision Australia, grade 1 braille programs, and technology courses. Tracy’s dream to be able to go snow-boarding with her husband.
Tracy will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards a vision-impaired camp at Jindabyne, where she will learn a sport that is both exhilarating and fun.
As Tracy says, “This would reinforce my training and healthier lifestyle by accomplishing this dream, the sense of achievement for this will be unimaginable.”
Peta Robinson – The arts
Peta is a very talented artist who has studied visual arts at university and taken courses in specific painting and drawing techniques. → Show more. Her dream is to be a self-employed artist – a career that would allow her the freedom to work from home.
Peta will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards building a folio of her work. She will attend an art school course in folio development, which will provide her with enough bodies of work to hold an exhibition in a gallery.
“Achieving this would make my life easier,” Peta says. “I would finally earn my own money, achieve my goals and reach my dreams.”
Meg McIntyre – Sport
Meg is an avid cyclist who dreams of participating in the Great Victorian Bike Ride. → Show more. She will use the event as an opportunity to fundraise, raise awareness and educate others about multiple sclerosis.
Meg will use her Go for Gold Scholarship towards her entrance fee for the Great Victorian Bike Ride, as well as for travel costs to get to the event from her hometown.
“I would like to take on this challenge to prove to myself and to others that there is always an ‘opportunity’ to ‘have a go’,” Meg says. “There is no pass or fail, but rather the achievement is in filling one’s potential.”
Chris Tester – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Chris’ dream is to use virtual-reality technology to document living environments. → Show more. He will record footage that will allow people who can no longer live in their homes or those with reduced mobility an opportunity to recall past experiences.
These recorded living environments will allow a person to take a virtual walk through previous residences or environments that they once enjoyed.
Chris will use his Go for Gold scholarship to buy camera equipment and software required to document and capture these environments.
“Achieving this dream would enable me to remain passionate about something I can physically take on,” Chris says. “It would allow me to feel greater control and a renewed sense of mastery.”
Deborah Hodgson – Lifestyle/wellbeing
Debbie enjoys spending time with her husband and going out with him for lunch once a week on his day off. → Show more. She experiences pain and spasticity at night, which keeps her and her husband awake and has led him to sleep in a separate room.
Debbie’s dream is to sleep without pain and reunite with her husband. She will use her Go for Gold scholarship towards the purchase of an electric adjustable bed, which will provide her with a better night’s sleep and the opportunity to reconnect with her husband.
“I love my husband,” Debbie says. “He is my primary carer and I just want to be able to share a marital bed with him again.”
Colleen Daniels - Employment
Colleen lives on the NSW Central Coast where she produces a small publication called Reading While You Wait. → Show more. Reading While You Wait contains general interest articles and amusements and provides people with something interesting to read while waiting for appointments or services. Colleen will use the Go for Gold scholarship to purchase a 'booklet making' machine, which will make production simpler and improve the look of each monthly edition. She will also have a website professionally developed to bring more exposure and enable advertisers to purchase and pay for ad space online. As Colleen says, "I am proud to be able to say that I run a small business and having that pride is good for my wellbeing, but being able to have this added exposure and speed up production will do wonders!"