Fifteen years of giving a helping hand to high school students

By Janine van den Tillaart

Sophie Nelson is studying a Bachelor of Pre-Medicine, Science and Health at the University of Wollongong


The family of the late April Bottom and Bush Church Aid have offered a scholarship to a student from the Parish of the Far West and Broken Hill looking to undertake study away from home for the past fifteen years.

April Bottom and her husband David experienced first-hand the difficulties of having their children educated. Before her passing from cancer in 2003, April expressed a desire to set up a fund to assist families with the education of their children. Bush Church Aid is proud to administer the scholarship on the family’s behalf.

2018 scholarship recipient Sophie Nelson is currently studying at the University of Wollongong. ”Moving so far away from home was definitely a big step,” says Sophie. “I do not regret this decision though, every day I fall more in love with Wollongong, my course and Uni.

“There are so many incredible opportunities at University that aren’t academic related; I am a part of clubs, attend and work at the gym, am a student representative and so much more. The April Bottom Scholarship has been instrumental in being able to do all these things as it has taken a major weight off my shoulders in regards to the financial pressures of uni. There are so many costs that many people don’t even think of. Though I do still work so I can save for later years, it is far less of a necessity meaning I can spend more time building friendships and experiencing all that university has to offer. I am so thankful for this scholarship and would definitely encourage others to apply.”

Applications for the 2019 April Bottom Scholarship are now open. To be eligible you must:

  • Be a resident of the Parish of Broken Hill and the Far West
  • Undertake study outside the Parish in 2019
  • Submit your completed application by the closing date and have it verified by your parents/carers
  • Provide academic records from the previous year and any information to support your application including club memberships, sporting or academic achievements

The winner of the 2019 scholarship will be notified in late 2018 and the amount of $11,000 will go towards their tuition fees/boarding fees/text books, etc. as they commence their studies in 2019.

If you know someone who would benefit from the April Bottom Scholarship or you would like further information please email or phone the BCA National Office on 02 9262 5017. Applications close 15 September 2018.