Ex­change broad­ens nurses’ hori­zons

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

TWO univer­sity stu­dents are near­ing the end of a one-year ex­change as part of a 68year-old liv­ing me­mo­rial es­tab­lished by WWII pris­on­ers of war.

The schol­ar­ship, at Curtin Univer­sity, was es­tab­lished by exChangi Pri­son pris­on­ers in re­mem­brance of 850 Al­lied sol­diers who died in the no­to­ri­ously hor­rific Sin­ga­porean war camp.

The Aus­tralian Im­pe­rial Force’s ( AIF) Malaya Nurs­ing Schol­ar­ship serves to thank the Malayan peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly the Chi­nese in Sin­ga­pore, who helped many sur­vive by smug­gling food and medicine into the pri­son.

The schol­ar­ship sup­ports nurses to come to Aus­tralia for ad­di­tional train­ing for a year and has been run­ning since 1947. Ran­jeeta Kaur (28), from Sin­ga­pore, and Jaspreet Kaur (27), from Malaysia, will leave Perth next month af­ter com­plet­ing part of their nurs­ing de­grees at Curtin.

Both have com­pleted the equiv­a­lent of two years in Aus­tralia, as at home they must work part-time to af­ford school­ing.

They said while they were ex­hausted by the work­load, they had en­joyed their time in Aus­tralia.

Ran­jeeta is a theatre nurse in Sin­ga­pore and cares for highly de­pen­dent pa- tients, of­ten with a crit­i­cal sta­tus.

She said Aus­tralian uni­ver­si­ties were much larger than those at home, and she en­joyed see­ing the en­thu­si­as­tic stu­dent union put on events.

Jaspreet, who spe­cialises in bloods and wants to con­tinue in the field, said the ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence en­abled her to pur­sue a long-term dream.

“My mum wanted to be a nurse when she was younger but her financial sit­u­a­tion pre­vented her from re­al­is­ing her dream,” she said.

“She en­cour­aged her two daugh­ters to pur­sue nurs­ing and I am grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity I was given to make her proud.”

Ran­jeeta Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur said they en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence of an Aus­tralian ed­u­ca­tion.

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