RSL schol­ar­ships to aid De­fence part­ners

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - BET­TINA WAR­BUR­TON

RSL Queens­land has made it eas­ier for part­ners of cur­rent and ex- ser­vice per­son­nel to achieve ter­tiary or vo­ca­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tions with a new schol­ar­ship pro­gram.

Pro­vid­ing up to $ 4000 an­nu­ally for up to three years, the RSL Queens­land Part­ner Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing Schol­ar­ship gives part­ners of serv­ing and for­mer De­fence per­son­nel the op­por­tu­nity to pur­sue their own ca­reer goals.

RSL Queens­land Veteran Ser­vices Man­ager Robert Skoda said mil­i­tary part­ners of­ten had to shelve their ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions while their part­ner is serv­ing.

“The mil­i­tary life de­mands a lot from all mem­bers of the fam­ily,” Mr Skoda said.

“It can be hard to es­tab­lish and main­tain a ca­reer when you have to move to a dif­fer­ent part of the coun­try ev­ery few years.

“These schol­ar­ships en­able part­ners to ac­cess ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that will en­able them to forge a brighter fu­ture.”

Mother of three Cas­san­dra Ladesma, 33, who re­ceived a schol­ar­ship as part of the pi­lot pro­gram, said re­lo­cat­ing to Townsville with her Army hus­band had meant leav­ing her ca­reer be­hind.

“I had a really good job man­ag­ing a reg­is­tered train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion in child­care,” Ms Ladesma said.

“But when I moved here, I couldn’t find a job that matched my skills and ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Ms Ladesma is study­ing a Bach­e­lor of So­cial Work at James Cook Uni­ver­sity.

“There is a lot of de­mand for so­cial work­ers, so I know my skills will be trans­fer­able,” she said.

Mr Skoda said the part­ner schol­ar­ships com­ple­mented the schol­ar­ship pro­gram that RSL Queens­land of­fered to chil­dren or grand­chil­dren of vet­er­ans, bring­ing the to­tal po­ten­tial value of schol­ar­ships on of­fer to $ 480,000.

“This is the sec­ond year we are of­fer­ing schol­ar­ships to the chil­dren and grand­chil­dren of exserv­ing ADF mem­bers,” Mr Skoda said.

“Twenty schol­ar­ships are avail­able for uni­ver­sity study or vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion — each is worth $ 12,000 over three years.”

He said the schol­ar­ships were part of a broader strat­egy aimed at pro­vid­ing sup­port to the en­tire mil­i­tary fam­ily.

“Fam­i­lies pro­vide vi­tal sup­port to De­fence per­son­nel, both while they are serv­ing and when they tran­si­tion out of the mil­i­tary,” Mr Skoda said.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to ap­ply visit www. rslqld. org/ OurSer­vices/ RSL- Schol­ar­ships

Cas­san­dra Ladesma and chil­dren Dantè, 9, Den­zel, 5, and Danyon, 2.

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