Supporting health students from the bush is critical to ensuring rural communities continue to thrive and survive.

The Country Women’s Association Barwon Group understands this and, in 1998, formed a committee to raise funds to assist those studying any recognised health-related field.

Applications for the CWA group’s annual medical grant are now open, and students whose principal place of residence is within the Walgett Shire, Goodooga, Pilliga and Wee Waa are being encouraged to apply.

Applicants need to have completed their first year of studying a medical or allied health course such as social work, nursing, pharmacy, chiropractic, podiatry, physiotherapy, orthotics, speech pathology or natural health studies.

The grant is also open to undergraduates and TAFE students who have completed their first year of study, as well as postgraduates and those updating or adding to existing qualifications – to be studying in 2023.

Annually, the CWA Barwon Group distributes around $15,000.

The group said this funding has not only helped students continue their studies but is also a way of showing them their community supports their endeavours and offers best wishes. There will be an additional $500 prize for the Best Essay, as judged and sponsored by the Northumberland Group of CWA, the Twin Group to the Barwon Group.

Part of the aim of the medical grant program is to encourage graduates to return to their rural roots to set up practice.

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