Haiden Webb from The Gurdies in South Gippsland, a radiography and medical imaging student and Jessica Earl from Drouin in West Gippsland, an emergency health and paramedic student, each received $4000.
The funds for the bursary were raised in community following Dr McArdle’s death and are administered by Monash University while are overseen by a local committee. Committee chair, Cleo Sahhar, said the bursary was an example of something positive coming from a tragedy and praised both young recipients for their commitment to study.
Deputy Director of Monash Rural Health Latrobe Valley & West Gippsland, Dr Cathy Haig, said a photograph of Dr McArdle in the midwifery ward at West Gippsland Hospital was a lasting reminder to young students of his commitment to medicine and the high regard in which he was held in the local community. She said medical students in years two, three and four were placed at the hospital and in local practices to gain clinical learning experiences. “This is a wonderful process which provides them with the education necessary to make them safe and efficient doctors,” Dr Haigh said.
Dr McArdle’s mother, Patricia Wilson, presented the bursaries, congratulating both on their achievements. Haiden told the audience he had gained inspiration from the speeches delivered which had highlighted Dr McArdle’s life and work. “I hope I can better myself as a result of this award,” he said. Jessica was unable to attend because of study commitments however her father, a charge nurse at West Gippsland Hospital, said she was very proud to receive it.