Beryl Wiltshire Scholarship helps St George trainee pursue a career in care



Churches of Christ is excited to announce Paige Houlahan, a school-based trainee currently working at Churches of Christ residential aged care in St George as a personal care worker, has been awarded this year’s $5,000 Beryl Wiltshire scholarship to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.

The late Beryl Wiltshire, a long-serving Churches of Christ staff member and community leader, set up the scholarship to help meet the tuition and associated costs for any person wishing to embark on a career of service.
 
Paige explains she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the health sector from a very young age. 
 
“Growing up in the bush, I saw the vital role nurses play in caring for us and the need for them has driven me to want to pursue a career as a registered nurse,” Paige said.
 
“I want to be able to make a change and contribute to the community by educating others on the importance of health.”
 
Kenneth Wiltshire, Beryl’s son, said Paige was a worthy recipient, and one of the stand-out elements of her application was her commitment to giving back to the elders that helped shape her community. 
 
“A proud Indigenous woman herself, Paige told us about how much she learned from elders in her community and how the traineeship had given her the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of elders,” Kenneth said.

“I have been very closely involved with indigenous communities all my life and my mother, Beryl, as well as my grandfather were champions of indigenous communities and leaders. One of the great strengths of our indigenous community is the way young people like Paige respect their elders and seek to learn from them- it is one of the great strengths of our indigenous community.  So, this award gives me a great deal of pleasure,” he said.

“Paige’s teacher and her Churches of Christ supervisor unanimously agreed Paige is bright, capable, and they have every confidence her determination will make her successful in her pursuit of both a nursing degree, and then a career in aged care,” he added.

“The selection committee at Churches of Christ was also unanimous in choosing Paige as this year’s winner,” Kenneth said.
 
“I was so thrilled when I received confirmation of my acceptance to University of Southern Queensland,” explained Paige. 
 

Background
 
Beryl Wiltshire AM was a highly respected leader in welfare and community work in Australia especially during her long and distinguished career with Churches of Christ Care. She was also Queensland Mother of the Year and received the Order of Australia for service in the field of social welfare in 1996.
 
She was a friend, counsellor, and mentor, to any who were in need and sought her help and advice. Beryl had a particular talent for identifying the potential in people and quietly assisted many with funding for their education and training to get them started in their career. This scholarship continues the tradition she established and is designed to meet the tuition and associated costs of a person or persons who wish to embark on a career of service within the social, welfare, human services, and caring sector.


  Posted July 7, 2021 in News