The Stand Like Stone Foundation has awarded Boneham Aged Care (BAC) employee, Anna-Therese Winkler, a $10,000 scholarship to assist in continuing her tertiary dementia studies.
Ms Winkler applied for the scholarship, available through the foundation’s Rackham educational program, after being encouraged by BAC director of care, Jo McGregor.
“Jo enquired as to how I was paying for my studies,” Ms Winkler said.
“I said like every other low economic Australian I was booking it up to HECS and she encouraged me to go through this process.
“I did it simply because I thought it was a good thing to learn to do.
“I was successful, which was very surprising and unexpected.”
In 2019 Ms Winkler started her aged care career at BAC as part of her placement and began tertiary studies at the end of 2020.
Studying externally for a bachelor in dementia care through the University of Tasmania, Ms Winkler is about half way through her degree and will use the scholarship to help cover her fees.
Passionate about dementia care, prevention and understanding, Ms Winkler said: “I am truly seeking to foster relationships with those living with cognitive impairment and their families in our community.
“Relationships that are celebratory, embracing and encompassing, not just accommodating.
“I am proud I will be able to deliver those services at Boneham through this education.
“I am extremely grateful to Stand Like Stone for their support of me and of Boneham and our residents.”
Ms Winkler said the foundation seeks to assist people who find study financially difficult and after suffering from a serious illness the care worker found her earning potential impacted.
“I previously was a carer employed by Boneham but I had a cancer diagnosis a few years ago that impeded work and what I am able to do now. Chemo does take its toll.”
Since completing her treatment Ms Winkler has returned to BAC and currently runs the facility’s inhouse cafe, La Fromelle’s, which had been closed during the Covid pandemic.
“I have a long history of hospitality prior to working in this industry and unbeknownst to me around the same time as finishing chemo they were intending to find a way to reopen the cafe for the community and their families.
“When I came back I went full-bore, originally it was just the coffee machine but I’ve turned it into an environment where we have a full menu, specials and now we are open Monday to Friday 9-3 as well.
“So we’ve gone from just being here to actively engaging with our residents, our beautiful staff and our resident’s families.”