Olivia McCluskey, 18, of Caloundra this week received a strong boost to her ambition of becoming a doctor in the form of a prestigious scholarship from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The former Pacific Lutheran College vice-captain was one of four high-achieving students at USC to be awarded Thompson Excellence Scholarships at a special ceremony on campus at Sippy Downs.
She will receive $24,000 throughout her three-year Bachelor of Medical Science, allowing her to spend less time doing part-time work and more time concentrating on her study or pursuing other interests like surf lifesaving, netball, swimming, water polo and violin.
“The financial support means life at university will be far more enjoyable, worthwhile and relaxed,” said Olivia, a former member of the Sunshine Coast Youth Orchestra.
Olivia is one of the first 25 students to study medicine on the Sunshine Coast, with the USC Medical Science degree in its first year.
Graduates from this degree have provisional direct entry into Griffith University’s Doctor of Medicine that will begin at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital soon.
Olivia said her interest in medicine stemmed from being a volunteer lifesaver at the Met Caloundra Surf Life Saving Club, where she has achieved a Bronze Medallion and First Aid Certificate.
“My involvement with the surf club allows me to be part of practical medical scenarios. I enjoy working in a team for a common cause and being there in case someone needs help,” Olivia said.
Combining this with her love of science, she realised that her dream career was to become a doctor.
“There is no denying that the following years will require many hours of dedication and perseverance, but I am looking forward to the new opportunities that arise.”
The Thompson Excellence Scholarship was presented to Olivia personally by donors Roy and Nola Thompson at the ceremony held in the USC Art Gallery.