In 2013, a local priest came to the MacKillop Fund Committee to ask for help for an impoverished family in his parish. He saw their need, and knew that a Catholic education will make a world of difference for the children in this household.
The mother had been a victim of a violent sexual assault at a young age and her oldest daughter Beth* was born as a result. After years in a refugee camp, mum and daughter were given a home in Brisbane, where the Catholic community embraced them. She later married and had a son with severe Down syndrome and then another daughter. Their financial struggles were too much and her husband left the family.
By the time Beth’s bursary application reached us, she had two siblings and her mum was once more surviving as a single parent.
Through the generosity of our local community who support the MacKillop Fund, Beth was the first recipient of a MacKillop Bursary and was cast an enormous gift of hope. Entering Year 8 in 2014 she was given the care she needed in her local Catholic secondary school. She flourished. She and the other five bursary students from that inaugural cohort proudly graduated Year 12 last December.
What’s more, not only is Beth thriving – she is an inspiration. In February 2019 Beth began a degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Queensland. From the despair of a life of trauma and almost pre-determined destiny, a MacKillop Bursary made it possible for us to lift this young lady and her family into opportunity. Your support will go on to be transformational for this biomedical student and for the world she seeks to reshape for the better.
The best news? Beth’s sister is about to start secondary school with the help of a MacKillop Bursary. She wants to be just like her older sister when she grows up. Beth has become her role model, and on-going donations to the Fund means that her young sister has the same opportunity.
*While we change the names of students and family members to protect the privacy of MacKillop Fund
bursary recipients, please know that their stories are real.