Health & Wellbeing

Yass welcomes Bush Bursary nursing student

Hannah Sparks21 January 2021
Peter Matthews.

Peter Matthews worked in the waste industry on the NSW South Coast before transferring to nursing. Photo: Supplied.

A University of Newcastle nursing student will have the chance to experience a two-week placement in Yass this summer after he was awarded a NSW Rural Doctors Network Bush Bursary scholarship.

Peter Matthews has long desired to be a nurse, however life took him in a different direction before he landed in his chosen career.

Growing up in regional Victoria, Peter first completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science at RMIT University with Honours, specialising in soil science.


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He worked in the waste industry on the NSW South Coast before moving with his wife, Kate, and two sons to Newcastle to complete further study.

“During this time, I decided to transfer to a Bachelor of Nursing,” says Peter. “Our family moved to Port Macquarie, where I have undertaken study at the University of Newcastle campus.

“I wanted to do nursing in my early 20s, however life took me on other paths. I am currently in my third year of nursing and really enjoying it. I also work part-time in the aged-care sector as an assistant in nursing.”

Peter has a keen interest in all areas of nursing, however he hopes to specialise in men’s health and drug and alcohol nursing.


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The NSW Rural Doctors Network Bush Bursary scholarship has traditionally been awarded to medical students to practice in rural and regional areas. However, it became open to nursing and midwifery students in 2020.

The scholarship is supported by Yass Valley Council each year and aims to encourage the next generation of health and medical practitioners to work in country NSW.

Each successful student receives $1500 to go towards their studies and a two-week placement in rural Australia.

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