Inspiro's 2021 Tertiary Health Scholarship winners

Wednesday, 5 May 2021
Inspiro's 2021 Tertiary Health Scholarship winners

Last Thursday we had the huge pleasure of awarding four tertiary scholarships to outstanding health students from the Yarra Ranges.

The Inspiro Tertiary Health Scholarships reward local future health professionals who demonstrate a genuine heart for their community.


This year’s top Major Award winner was Ellie Davis from Belgrave Heights.


Ellie is undertaking a Bachelor of Exercise Sports Science and donates her time to a youth camp and swim school to help children and adolescents learn essential skills and “feel like the best version of themselves”. 


“My long-term goal is to work in a rural setting as a secondary physical education teacher and provide health programs for the rural community,” she said. 


Ellie told us, “This scholarship will allow me to purchase textbooks, equipment and additional certifications and help relieve financial stress as I work, study and complete placement.”  


Ellie with her parents


Ellie, pictured with her parents, won the top scholarship prize.


Nikki Madgwick won the other Major Award. She is studying a Graduate Diploma in Trauma Informed Process work Psychotherapy and is the Community Engagement Worker at Oonah – an Indigenous health service located in the Yarra Valley. 

Nikki says, “As a proud Worimi-Biripi woman who works and lives on Wurundjeri Country, contributing to my community is at the core of all that I do.

At Oonah, we are dedicated to breaking the cycle of intergenerational trauma. I want to work at the grassroots level to support Community in healing the wounds of colonisation, so they can walk confidently into their future.”

Nikki said, “Having this financial support gives me peace of mind and is a tremendous support for my financial security. 

“As my course is in NSW, I have been participating in class via Zoom. However, we’re required to attend three 5-day Residentials onsite each year. This scholarship will go towards the cost of travelling to NSW—accommodation, petrol, food, and other supplies.”

Nikki Headshot

Nikki couldn't be onsite for the ceremony so she 'Zoomed' in online!

Oonah co-founder Miranda Madgwick received the $2500 Encouragement Award. Miranda has worked to educate and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Melbourne’s east for over 25 years. She shares her cultural knowledge by giving talks and sharing her skills in Aboriginal art and basket coiling.

She’s undertaking the same course as daughter Nikki to assist in her role as an Aboriginal mental health worker in the Stepped Care Program, “to be able to give quality of mental health care to community members and assist in the process of closing the gap in the Indigenous Australian communities.”

“My aim has always been to improve the wellbeing of our community members with a cultural lens in applying my knowledge in cultural therapeutic practices, in an empowering and respectful way.”

belinda presenting

This is Belinda being presented her HUGE cheque by Inspiro board director Alana Killen and ex board director Hamish Russell (now Community Advisory Group Chair).

Belinda from Belgrave South won the $2,500 encouragement award. She’s studying a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and hopes to work closely with others, helping them be who they want to be as active members of their community.

Among her varied community volunteer roles, Belinda is a live-in house manager with Servants Community Housing where she helps create community between women who have come together from all walks of life.

“This scholarship will help me afford university expenses… and other essential costs of living. It will allow me to focus more closely on my studies, so that I not only achieve good grades, but also gain the most out of the practical learning experiences I have access to as part of my course.”

Winners with Sue

Here's Inspiro CEO Sue Sestan with two of our happy scholarship recipients.

Want to support students in your community?

Since the scholarships began in 2006, Inspiro has awarded almost $150,000 to deserving recipients. Many go on to work at Inspiro.

You can donate to the Inspiro Scholarship Program to support students in the Yarra Ranges Shire who want to make a difference in our community.


Email for more information or to find out how else you can contribute to the Yarra Ranges.