Erin Brady – Gym Membership
My dream is to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle
Erin's dream of joining the defence force was shattered when she was diagnosed at 21 years of age; a time in life when the future is meant to look bright and promis ing.
"While I may not have been able to follow my initial dream, I have found new ways to fulfil my duty to my country," says Erin, who has achieved much despite her MS.
The Go for Gold Scholarship will help the determined 33 year old to remain fit and healthy with a gym membership scholarship.
Rebecca Cupitt – Education Scholarship
My dream is to help children who experience difficulty adjusting to the demands of their lives because of behavioural / socialisation issues
Rebecca loves her teaching career, which has mainly involved working with children with special needs. However, due to MS she has had to reassess her future employment opportunities.
Rebecca hopes to add to the knowledge and skills she has attained throughout her profession by taking on specialised courses in her area of interest. The Go for Gold Scholarship will contribute to the cost of courses and will ultimately allow her to pursue her dream so that she can continue contributing to the community beyond her career in teaching.
Jacquelyn Funnell – Education Scholarship
My dream is to study to bring my creative skills into the 21st century, gaining qualification in the new computer-based mediums
Creative art and visual design have been a passion for Jacquelyn since school. Her degree in fine arts is a testament to this. However, Jacquelyn was diagnosed with MS over 20 years ago and this has impacted on her mobility and fine motor skills. Painting and drawing are becoming more difficult; as is full-time employment.
The Go for Gold Scholarship will be used to fund courses, software and other material that will allow Jacquelyn to pursue digital art study. This could also lead to a flexible employment arrangement for Jacquelyn, as she will be able to take on assignments which can be managed from home.
Nissa Lee Phillips – Education Scholarship
My dream is to provide a happy and healthy future for myself and others living with MS
Passionate about health, nutrition and wellbeing, Nissa Lee was inspired to study naturopathy as a part-time flexible-needs student. She'll use the Go for Gold Scholarship toward her studies so she can one day establish a small business for her self as a natural therapy healthcare provider.
"I have had to re-design my dreams and pursuits to better support my changing health needs, shifting my career and living off a disability support pension to ensure regular income," she says. With her new found career Nissa Lee will be able to support herself financially and have a flexible working schedule.
Vanessa Taylor – Education Scholarship
My dream is to nurture my artistic talent and engage in the rewarding environment education can provide
For as long as she can remember, Vanessa has had a love for all forms of art. Since MS forced her to leave her employment as a textiles school teacher, she has been designing her own textile art at home.
Vanessa feels a formal fine art qualification will enable her to build a perpetual sense of self worth, as well as underpin her textile skills. The scholarship will allow her to attain this qualification. "I feel that these are the necessary building blocks for setting up a studio and becoming a professional artist," says Vanessa.
Maggie Westman – Education Scholarship
My dream is to start my education towards a diploma in biblical studies, and eventually a degree in divinity
Maggie hopes that she will one day become a minister of religion in Anglican/Presbyterian faith. In her position, she believes that she will be able to offer comfort and support to people with MS, as well as give renewed hope to their families, carers and loved ones.
"My MS has made me look at my life and what is important to me," says Maggie, "I have hope for a new career when I thought my life was over." The Go for Gold Scholarship will open the door that will allow Maggie to reach her full potential.
Kellie White – Education Scholarship
My dream is to pursue a form of relaxation that will help me to achieve my dream of being a healthy person living with MS
"My diagnosis of MS in 2008 led me to recognise the importance of living a healthy and stress-free life," says Kellie.
However, until now, Kellie had not yet come across a relaxation technique that suited her. She has found that hypnotherapy has given her complete relaxation, calmness and increased energy among many other benefits. "The skills and techniques I will learn through a hypnotherapist are skills that I can take and use on my own, ongoing," says Kellie. She will use the Go for Gold Scholarship to undertake a hypnotherapy program to ensure that stress does not impact on her long-term health and wellbeing.
Vanessa Holt – Music Scholarship
My dream is to play the piano beautifully and to have a functional piano
On an old and dysfunctional piano that a cousin threw out, Vanessa is teaching herself to play. "I don't know how this craving occurred. I developed this hideous calling out of the blue. I cannot tell you how much joy and peace it brings me," she explains.
Vanessa believes that her new passion has had an impact on her MS as it encourages her fingers to become dexterous, provides cognitive therapy, physical and mental memory exercises as she learns to read the music and "the most important impact," says Vanessa, "is on my psychological health. Just sitting at the piano and playing scales creates spurts of serotonin. I feel calm and happy."
Using the Go for Gold Scholarship, Vanessa will invest in piano lessons with an experienced teacher and buy a good second hand piano.
Sascha Klave – Music Scholarship
My dream is to reignite my passion and make a viable living from music
Sascha Klave had always dreamed of playing and performing music. In his thirties, after years of practise and studying at the Australian Institute of Music, Sascha released his debut EP in 2004. However, only three years on from this, Sascha was diagnosed with MS.
Being on stage and performing live requires stamina, the ability to travel, haul equipment and work under extreme conditions for hours at a time. Sascha struggled and was forced to give up on the performance aspect of his music career.
Now Sascha will re-enter the workforce writing and selling his music for use in film and television. The Go for Gold Scholarship will help Sascha to complete his professional home recording studio.
David Galea – Sport Scholarship
My dream is to compete in hand-cycling at a national and international level
David has always led an active lifestyle. But as his disease began to progress he had to adapt, and hand-cycling became his chosen sport.
David is now keen to compete professionally. To do so he will need to purchase a hand-cycle and he will need financial assistance for equipment, modifications, travel and accommodation, as well as competition entry costs.
The Go for Gold Scholarship will allow him to pursue his dream of becoming a professional hand-cycler. "I really love my sport and competing," says David, "but I also do it to encourage others with a disability to get out there, be active and have a go".
Samantha Williams – Sport Scholarship
My dream is to inspire younger people in my community by showing them that a disability or setback shouldn't stop them from going after what they want in life
Samantha will use the Go for Gold Scholarship to gain further training in coaching and umpiring, and to stay fit so that she can remain active in netball as both a coach and umpire. She hopes the skills she gains will benefit her club and association and ensure that she remains a strong role model in her local community.
"The swim school my son attends helped to raise money for this scholarship by doing the 24 Hour Mega Swim. It would be nice to go to them and show them the effect this scholarship has on the life of a person with MS and to show them that their hard work paid off for someone in their community," says Samantha.
Ellen Trudy Dan – Sport Scholarship
My dream is to maintain an active, fit and healthy lifestyle
"Once an aerobics teacher and gym instructor, being an active member of a gym and staying fit has always been a part of my identity. Unfortunately, due to MS, I am unable to access the gyms in my area which all have stair access. I feel that my strength and fitness are deteriorating.
With the Go for Gold Scholarship, I will set up a home gym. Now I can keep my dream of being active and alive for as long as possible."
Robyn Bressington – Travel Scholarship
My dream is to see orang-utans in their habitat in Borneo
Once a science teacher with a love for wildlife, Robyn is now retired due to her MS. She has travelled the globe and hopes to continue doing so while she still can.
Robyn plans to travel to Borneo with the UK Orang-utan Foundation and will use the scholarship to assist with expenses.
"I want to be a role model for people with MS allowing them to know that MS does not control you but that you can determine how much life you want to live," says Robyn.
Joanne Good – Travel Scholarship
My dream is to maintain my relationship with my husband and step-son who live in Indonesia
From 1996–2003 Joanne lived in the remote Indonesian village of Toraja, where she conducted research for her Ph.D. in social anthropology. It was here that she met and married the man she loves and grew to adore her extended family. She intended to make the village her home; however, in 2003 illness forced Joanne to return to Australia.
The financial limitation of not being able to study or work means that sponsoring the immigration of her husband and step-son is impossible. Joanne is unable to travel to Indonesia to see her family often. "My dream is to spend more time with my husband and being a mother to my step-son," she says. The Go for Gold Scholarship will allow Joanne to travel to Indonesia to do just that.
Maree Martin – Travel Scholarship
My dream is to travel to Ireland and visit the places and meet the musicians featured in songs I play on my radio program
"I dream of coming back and sharing this once in a lifetime experience," says Maree who presents a community radio program Come back to Killarney which specialises in Irish music.
Since being diagnosed in 2000, Maree's dream to go to Ireland was put on hold and her passion for singing took a back seat. However, she feels a real connection with Irish music and she is determined to make her dream a reality.
The Go for Gold Scholarship will fund Maree's trip, so she can come back and share her experience with her listeners. "I can be an inspiration for others to follow their dream," she says.
Elizabeth Mills – Travel Scholarship
My dream is to explore and appreciate the most beautiful country in the world – Australia
"My husband and I have a shared vision to travel the country in a caravan whilst I am still able to do so," says Elizabeth.
After being diagnosed with MS, Elizabeth studied to become a water aerobic instructor. For over 20 years she helped many people with MS through her work, however, four years ago her coordination deteriorated. Unable to continue working, her husband took an early retirement to care for her. Unfortunately, this not only impacted on their finances but also on their dream.
Elizabeth was recently diagnosed with secondary progressive MS and feels the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. A Go for Gold Scholarship will help to finance a trip so that she and her husband can finally live their dream. "Being able to travel to the wonderful places I have read about is a dream come true," says Elizabeth.
Kerrie-Ann Robinson – Travel Scholarship
My dream is to pack hike with my husband in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, Tasmania
Kerrie-Anne has hiked this overnight walk on two occasions. However, over the past six years, her difficulty with walking and balance has also had an affect on strength and energy.
Kerrie-Ann wishes to undertake hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a method which involves delivering high doses of oxygen to the body. Medicare and health insurers do not provide a rebate for this treatment so the scholarship will allow Kerrie-Ann to pursue the treatment which, she believes, may help her to complete the hike in Tasmania.
Anonymous – Travel Scholarship
My dream is to become an accessible travel consultant
"Prior to retiring from my job as a history and drama teacher, I travelled extensively and enjoyed my experiences; however, since 2003 I have travelled in a wheelchair and discovered first-hand the difficulties faced by disabled travellers and their families.
I now want to use his experience to benefit other people with a disability. I want to help others with MS to travel and enjoy wider experiences without having to face so many limitations.
I will use my Go for Gold Scholarship to find ways around the financial, as well as the physical restrictions faced by people with MS when they travel. I will research accessible tour and accommodation options, travel to accessible destinations using accessible means, write and publish articles and develop an accessible travel website specifically relevant to people with MS."
Libby Hansen – The Arts Scholarship
My dream is to be an artist
Some 29 years after leaving art school, Libby's love for art was reignited. "In the black void of MS symptoms, I found a path which led me home," says Libby.
MS symptoms can make it difficult for Libby to continue doing what she loves. "The impact is physically, emotionally and mentally debilitating," she explains "everything stops."
However, Libby has found that when she can't paint, she can use technology to design paintings. The scholarship will allow her to purchase equipment and software that will help her to stay motivated and to keep doing what makes her happy so that she can get through the difficult times that MS can bring.
Ric Morison – The Arts Scholarship
My dream is to tell of my life and journey in the USA, and through my novel, inspire and empower those touched by MS
Since he was 12 years of age, Ric Morison has played the guitar. At the age of 15 he was already teaching guitar and playing with bands of the highest calibre.
Ric also lived in the US, playing in New York, New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville and in the studios of LA. He then went onto teach at a famous music school in San Francisco, and then in Paris.
He can no longer play due to the symptoms of MS but Ric thinks it is ironic that it is the disease itself that made him realise that he loves to write. The Go for Gold Scholarship will allow Ric to share his remarkable story in his novel, The Blues: A Pilgrim's Journey.
Samantha – The Arts Scholarship
My dream is to publish a book about my story for people newly diagnosed with MS
"My life is a fairytale," says Samantha, who was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago. She believes that getting her story out in the MS community will enrich the lives of others, bring hope and portray the endless possibilities that life can bring, despite a diagnosis of MS.
Samantha believes that using her spare time to write her story would be a worthwhile and purposeful project. She will use the Go for Gold Scholarship to pay for the production and publication of the book she writes.
Fiona Griffith – Employment Scholarship
My dream is to work as a marriage celebrant and reinforce the values of family and unity
Fiona had a successful career in health care but work became less frequent due to the stigma attached to her MS diagnosis.
Letting go of her profession was as difficult as the diagnosis itself, but Fiona soon recognised it as an opportunity. This year she became a registered marriage celebrant. "This work is meaningful, gives purpose and is surrounded by happiness," she says "a perfect complement to my physical, emotional and mental wellbeing."
The Go for Gold Scholarship will allow Fiona to kick start her career and will cover the costs of things such as attire, marketing and advertising, client packs and an amplifier system.
Jennifer Lear – Employment Scholarship
My dream is to build a fulfilling and useful career as a volunteer presenter on community radio
When she started training as a community radio presenter late last year, Jennifer Lear realised right away she had found her niche.
Living in the rural village of Emmaville, NSW, Jennifer's programs cover 60s and 70s soft rock and pop, nostalgia from the 40s onwards and uplifting classical pieces. However, the nature of her symptoms means that preparing a program takes her twice as long as the air time she gets – 10 hours a week.
The Go for Gold Scholarship will pay for computer aids, a laptop and printer that will help Jennifer to work more efficiently. As a presenter, Jennifer also relies on her own music collection and the scholarship will allow her to expand her personal music library. "Then my dream will be possible," says Jennifer.
Liane – Employment Scholarship
My dream is to be self sufficient and to own a small business that will improve the lives of children and families in developing countries
Due to the demands of MS and family life employment has become difficult for Liane. To remain self sufficient, Liane would like to setup a small home business importing and marketing scarves in Australia and New Zealand, returning a percentage of the proceeds from sales to the communities from which they come.
The scholarship will allow Liane to start her dream. "It would be very satisfying to see the growth of the scarf-making industry in other countries as a result of my business growth," she says.