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Lucy Lockwood was full of smiles when she was announced as the University of Adelaide’s inaugural AnglicareSA 150 Augustus Short Scholar this month.

The 20-year-old from Mount Gambier always dreamed of attending university with aims to provide dental services to people in remote Australian communities and developing countries.

But on receiving her award, she reflected on the tragedy which initially put her dentistry dream on hold.

“I’ve wanted to study at the University of Adelaide since I was 15 years old,” she said.

“But it all seemed impossible when just over two years ago, my Dad took his life.”

Lucy inspired with her speech at the scholarship awards ceremony at St Peter’s Cathedral | Photo: University of Adelaide

The financial hardships of being a single-parent family in a rural area have further complicated Lucy, her two siblings and mother Lynette’s emotional rollercoaster.

With the family unable to finance Lucy moving to Adelaide to study – she began working as a dental assistant at a local clinic in Mount Gambier.

“Being in the clinic helped me a lot and made me feel really happy,” she said.

“I was overwhelmed by the support and kindness of my colleagues and decided I wanted to give back – I wanted to volunteer somewhere.”

About the AnglicareSA 150 AS Scholarship

The Scholarship commemorates the 150th anniversary of Adelaide’s iconic St Peter’s Cathedral and the Right Reverend Dr Augustus Short. The Adelaide University and AnglicareSA joint-initiative financially supports a commencing student of high academic merit from a rural or remote area, who is experiencing financial hardship or another disadvantage. As the first Vice-Chancellor and a pioneer in the founding of the University of Adelaide, Dr Short believed high-achieving students, regardless of wealth, should have access to higher education. AnglicareSA fundraising committee chair Andrew Marshall and wife Josephine came up with the initiative and facilitated the scholarship.

It wasn’t long before Lucy relished an opportunity to travel with a dentist to Timor-Leste, to support local communities dealing with the lack of dental care available in the country.

“Timor-Leste has only 10 dentists for its population of more than one million,” Lucy said.

“The dentist I was working with mentored local operators as they treated patients to increase their confidence and skills – even little things such as giving toothbrushes to patients helped raise awareness around the importance of dental care.

“From this moment I definitely knew – this is what I wanted to do.”

Lucy Lockwood — AnglicareSA 150 AS Scholar 2019
Lucy now has the opportunity to pursue her unique passion for dentistry | Photo: University of Adelaide

Lynette said her daughter never gave up looking for any avenue to help her get into university – one of which was applying for the AnglicareSA 150 AS Scholarship.

“Lucy had to have two gap years working in the country because we just couldn’t fund her to come to Adelaide – it was heartbreaking because it’s all she wanted to do,” Lynette said.

“The scholarship eases the burden on her finding a job – she has enough to deal with mentally, as well as moving to a city away from her partner, family and friends.

“Words can’t explain how proud I am considering what she’s been through.”

Lynette — Lucy’s Mother
Lucy and Mum Lynette

AnglicareSA Patron and University of Adelaide Chancellor Kevin Scarce said it’s inspiring to think the scholarship has enabled Lucy to access the opportunities she deserves.

“Lucy’s an exceptional young woman and has displayed great determination to succeed,” he said.

“Dr Augustus Short had the vision that education was important and should not be defined by where you’re from or the amount of money you’ve got in your pocket.

“In commemorating this legacy, the scholarship is an opportunity to give talented young people like Lucy, the chance they otherwise may never have had to pursue their dreams.”

Kevin Scarce — AnglicareSA Patron, University of Adelaide Chancellor
The AnglicareSA 150 AS Scholarship commemorates Augustus Short’s inclusive vision | Photo: University of Adelaide

Lucy said the AnglicareSA Scholarship has made a “huge emotional difference”, enabling her to prioritise her mental health and studies.

While only in her first year, she is excited to become qualified and bring her dental expertise to communities in need.

To financially support this scholarship please contact Yvonne Martin-Clark, University of Adelaide External Relations via [email protected] or 08 8313 6816.

If you’ve lost someone to suicide and are looking for support services please get in touch with the AnglicareSA Living Beyond Suicide team on 1300 761 193. For support regarding suicide prevention, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.