Scholarship winner looks towards a career in medicine

By Janine van den Tillaart

Sophie Nelson
Our April Bottom Scholarship winner Sophie Nelson


The Bottom family and BCA are proud to announce the 2018 recipient of the April Bottom Scholarship – Sophie Nelson from Broken Hill.

Sophie, who completed her Higher School Certificate last year, has been striving towards her goal of studying medicine. She topped her year in a number of subjects and was awarded a gold plaque for exceptional achievement through her ongoing academic, cultural, extra-curricular and service contributions to the school community. In 2016 Sophie was selected to attend a global youth leadership conference in the United States. While there she was elected to be part of the executive body which comprised only five people. Sophie was also elected School Vice-Captain last year.

Sophie will use the April Bottom Scholarship to go towards her on campus accommodation at The University of Wollongong where she is enrolled in the Bachelor of Pre-medicine, Science and Health.

“I was simply over the moon when I was notified I had received the scholarship,” says Sophie. “It means so much to both my mother and me as it lifts an enormous weight off our shoulders financially. It means I now do not have to stress as badly over the financial component of university.

Even though I knew my mum would do whatever necessary to get me through university, it would have been extremely demanding upon her. I would not be able to work enough to fully support myself while

studying full-time and so would have to rely on my mum. This amazing scholarship is a gift for my mum who has worked my entire life to give me everything I have needed and wanted. Now I am able to give back to her.”

April Bottom established this scholarship before her passing so that students such as Sophie, who have the potential to achieve but not necessarily the opportunity, can undertake secondary or tertiary education away from home.

Sophie’s long-term goal is to do medicine and eventually specialise as a cardiothoracic surgeon. “Since a very young age I knew I wanted to become a doctor and this desire has only grown as I have grown older. I would like to work in regional areas so people do not have to travel for specialist care,” she says. “There are also very few females in Australia in this specialisation which makes me aspire to fulfil my goal even more.”

The Bottom family and BCA wish Sophie all the best as she commences her study. We thank all the candidates for their applications and encourage them to apply for the 2019 scholarship.