Medical student Benjamin Clarke is a Hastings Education Fund grant recipient

Bright future: UNSW Port Macquarie first year medical student Benjamin Clarke considers medicine will be a way to bring together his passions and interests.

Bright future: UNSW Port Macquarie first year medical student Benjamin Clarke considers medicine will be a way to bring together his passions and interests.

The inaugural intake of University of NSW medical students in Port Macquarie came at just the right time for Benjamin Clarke.

The Hastings Education Fund grant recipient had his heart set on studying medicine.

The 2017 start of the full UNSW medical degree in Port Macquarie, Benjamin’s acceptance into the program and financial support through the Hastings Education Fund combined to create a memorable chapter in Benjamin’s life.

Benjamin received an initial grant allocation through the Hastings Education Fund.

He received a supplementary grant from the Hastings Education Fund, as part of a sponsorship arrangement with the Hastings Co-op, to assist a local student who had chosen to study locally. 

“A lot of my friends were looking to leave Port Macquarie and go to university but I really wanted to come home,” Benjamin said.

Benjamin, who has called Port Macquarie home since he was a child, attended a Sydney boarding school during high school.

“In my heart I’m a rural/regional student and person,” he said.

“I couldn’t see myself living in the city long-term.

“I really love the lifestyle and the atmosphere here.”

The financial helping hand will go towards study-related expenses and Benjamin can tap into mentoring.

“It takes a lot of the pressure off and it means I can focus on university, and I can make the most of my university experience too,” he said.

The Hastings Education Fund provides financial assistance and support to help young people achieve their education, training and vocation aspirations. 

Benjamin considers medicine will be a way to bring together his passions and interests.

“I like science, I like talking to people, I like the interpersonal aspect of medicine and also the scientific basis of it,” he said.

“It’s a way to help the greatest amount of people possible and enjoy it.”

Benjamin would like to work in a wide range of geographical areas from the city to remote Indigenous communities.

“These are all dreams at the moment but they promise incredible opportunity to give back to people,” he said.

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