A University of Newcastle nursing student will have the opportunity to experience a two-week placement in Yass this summer after he was awarded an NSW Rural Doctors Network Bush Bursary scholarship.

Yass bound – Bush Bursary nursing student Peter Matthews

Yass Valley Council is a contributor to the scholarship, which aims to encourage the next generation of health and medical practitioners to work in country NSW, and hosts the placement of students each summer.

Peter Matthews has long desired to be a nurse but life took him in a different direction before he landed on his chosen career. Growing up in regional Victoria, Peter first completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science at RMIT University with Honours, specialising in soil science. He worked in the waste industry on the South Coast of NSW before moving with his wife, Kate, and two sons, to Newcastle to complete further study.

“During this time, I decided to transfer over to a Bachelor of Nursing. Our family moved to Port Macquarie, where I have undertaken study at the UON campus.

“I wanted to do nursing in my early 20s, however, life took me on other paths. I am currently in my third year of nursing and really enjoying it! I also work part-time in the aged care sector as an assistant in nursing.”

Peter has a keen interest in all areas of nursing, however, he hopes to specialise in men’s health and drug and alcohol nursing.

“In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with the family, gardening, bushwalking, reading and plant identification,” Peter added.