More than 100 guests attended the 2023 Crestani Scholarships Awards Night on Friday, November 3, at the Central Coast Clinical School of the University of Newcastle.
Recipients will apply their scholarships to study and training at the university and the Central Coast Cancer Centre.
The first recipient, Paris Neville, was granted the inaugural Crestani Scholarship for Oncology Nursing.
Professor Amanda Johnson, Head of School and Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, outlined the critical role of the nurse, particularly in the care of cancer patients.
She detailed how the nurse’s involvement can make the difference to the patient’s treatment, interventions and other supports.
Neville said that witnessing the work of compassionate and knowledgeable nurses herself contributed to her choice to follow a nursing career in oncology.
Four other recipients were granted scholarships.
Bailey De Gioia and Jessica Monfries received a Central Coast Cancer Centre internship, Caitlyn Mills an MRI internship and Jacob Clarke the Rural internship.
Kathy Fletcher from the Central Coast Cancer Centre gave an enthusiastic account of the valuable training the students will engage in with state-of-the-art equipment.
Director of the Global Centre for Research and Training in Radiation Oncology, Associate Professor Yolanda Surjan, explained how the university’s program of study in radiation oncology contributes to the collaborative development of the students’ knowledge and expertise.
She also reminded the audience of the financial hardships faced by students and the crucial role the scholarships played in assisting the students’ progress.
“The night would not have been complete without hearing from the researchers investigating and formulating ideas and tests to improve methods and treatments for cancer patients,” a spokesperson said.
“One program already being trialled is the in-home treatment by some patients, as explained by Jacqueline Jagger, Nurse Practitioner, alleviating the need to travel to hospital.
“(This) reduces the stresses associated with the experience for patients and family.
“Keynote speaker Dr Jude Weidenhofer delivered an engaging and candid speech on another project underway – the search for an alternative and more accurate way to diagnose prostate cancer, with the hope of eliminating the discomfort which comes with biopsies and being able to more skillfully treat the cancer.
“Crestani Scholarships is proud to be in partnership with such dedicated educators and researchers who can inspire and transfer their knowledge and skills to the next generation of energetic and enthusiastic radiation therapists and oncology specialists.”
Donors, entertainers and other supporters of Crestani Scholarships were also acknowledged on the night.