Meet one of the Rotary scholarship beneficiaries

Recently we shared the story of some great work going on behind the scenes from the Rotary Club of Hall (RCH) who help operate our Market.

The RCH also supports and sponsors various student scholarships prioritising Canberra locals. One of these scholarship beneficiaries is 18-year-old Raechel McKinnon, who received the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund (GSF). We recently had the opportunity to find out what this opportunity means to her.

What is the Scholarship that you have received and what is the background of the Scholarships?

I was honoured to receive a bursary from the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund (GSF) donated by the Hall Rotary and named the Hall Rotary Scholarship. Each year, the GSF provides scholarships to Australian tertiary students experiencing necessitous circumstances who are the direct descendent of a veteran and have excelled in the area of academics, sports, and community service. I was privileged enough to be selected as the Canberran student who received this bursary and was lucky to be sponsored by Hall Rotary, which prioritises sponsorship of Canberran students. 

What does the Scholarship mean to you?

For me, this scholarship has changed the trajectory of this year. I am currently studying a double degree in Paramedicine and Nursing and competing at the National level in softball, whilst living independently out-of-home. This has been a significant challenge, as I have been working three jobs to save enough money to pay for student accommodation, University, and softball travel costs. Receiving this bursary has not only meant that I am more financially comfortable, but also that I can spend less time working and more time studying and working towards my future goals and ambitions. It has also introduced me to Hall Rotary, which has proven to be a network of kind, compassionate, and generous individuals who truly care about helping those within their jurisdiction. I have been lucky enough to attend the Sunday markets with Vic Gibbons, my mentor, and meet a some of the Hall Rotary members. I cannot express enough my gratitude to Hall Rotary and the GSF for all that they have done for me. It has been one of the greatest honours of my life to have been supported in this way by Hall Rotary and its members. 

What do you hope to achieve with your scholarship or other general goals that you are keen to pursue?

With this bursary behind me, I will have the capacity to focus on my studies and pursue my academic goals, looking to maintain a High Distinction average in all my courses in order to complete postgraduate study following the completion of my Bachelors. Ultimately, I want to become a flight paramedic, and this extra study would facilitate this. However, my primary goal now is to make the ACT Diamonds Open Women’s team and the Junior Aussie Spirit softball team. These have been lifelong dreams of mine, and to play at the highest level in Australia and the world would be such an honour. 

Thank you, Raechel, for taking the time to talk with us. On behalf of all our community, we are so proud of what you’re achieving, and we look forward to following your journey.  

At the Market, our commitment to quality produce and direct producer connections has been pivotal to our enduring success. With all profits from stallholder fees going towards supporting our community through RCH, we are proud to continue to make positive contributions wherever we can.

By supporting the Market, you can help support so much more. If you are interested in finding out how you can support the RCH, check out their website.

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