Grants deliver support to young people with care experience

For Gemma Brusnahan, having access to the State Government’s Dame Roma Mitchell Grants has brought her dream of becoming a midwife closer to reality – and young people who are, or have been, in care are being urged to apply for round two.

The 20-year-old received $3,700 in grants from the State Government over the past two years, allowing her to access specialist one-to-one mathematics tutoring and purchase a new computer for study.

Gemma is one of 157 South Australians who shared in more than $105,000 in Dame Rome Mitchell grants in round one earlier this year, with round two now open.

The grants are available to children and young people, aged under 30, with a care experience and helps them to achieve personal goals, contribute to health and wellbeing and provide developmental grants.

Gemma was in care from the age of four until she turned 18, spending eight years with her long-term foster carer – someone she still has a strong relationship with.

“I didn’t finish school and I had my babies young, so I never thought going to university was an option for me,” said Gemma, who is in her second year of the Bachelor of Midwifery at Flinders University.

“Being able to access the Dame Roma Mitchell Grants to pay for one-on-one specialist maths tutoring that has a focus on medicine has really allowed me to excel in my classes.

“It’s been fantastic – not only has the tutoring helped me with the degree it’s also helped me with important life skills.”

Gemma said the Dame Roma Mitchell Grants were a fantastic support for young people who needed a bit of extra help to achieve their goals.

“Becoming a mother young inspired me to want to become a midwife and help other women going through birth,” she said.

“The Dame Roma Mitchell Grants have given me the confidence and the helping hand I needed to back myself and be successful in achieving my dreams.”

Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson encouraged eligible young people to apply for the grants.

“I urge young people who have had a care experience to apply for this round of Dame Roma Mitchell Grants,” said Minister Sanderson.

“We know that transitioning into adulthood can be a daunting time for young people in care.

“These grants provide young South Australians with a care experience some support to embark confidently into the next phase of their life and consider what professional or social endeavours they may want to pursue.”

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