Scholarship for rural doctors is a gift that keeps on giving

01 Jul 2024

For five years, the Bill Nicholes ‘Willigobung’ Scholarship for Medicine has empowered students from remote and rural areas to come to Canberra to study medicine at The Australian National University (ANU).

Made possible through a generous bequest from Bill Nicholes, the scholarship supports two new students studying graduate medicine per year, and continues to support them for the duration of their four-year degree. At least one of those students always hails from a rural, regional or remote area of Australia, to honour Bill’s legacy and rural background as a farmer.

In 2023, the scholarship was awarded to Cecilia Moriarty, an aspiring doctor from a small, rural town outside Wagga Wagga, NSW. The scholarship has ensured her children are taken care of while she focuses on becoming a general practitioner and acquiring specialisations related to her interest in emergency medicine response. She is already looking forward to what skills and experiences she can bring back to serve her hometown.

Eliza Cowley, 2021 scholarship recipient, knew that pursuing her dreams to go to medical school would mean she had to live far away from her farming family in Goondiwindi, QLD. Being awarded the scholarship meant that she did not have to rely on her parents for financial assistance to come and study in Canberra. Like Cecilia, she is looking forward to working in a regional or rural setting once she graduates.

Bill’s vision was that his bequest to ANU would provide for medical students like Cecilia and Eliza. Having cared for his parents through their old age at their farm ‘Willigobung’ at Tumbarumba, NSW, and having experienced several medical issues himself throughout his life, he was passionate about supporting future doctors. Though he passed in 2016, his legacy lives on through the students his gift continues to assist and the communities they go on to serve.

A gift in your will provides enduring support for learning, education and research beyond your lifetime. If you have included the University in your will, or you are thinking about doing so, please let us know. We would be delighted to learn more about your areas of interest and show you the type of impact your future gift will have. It will also give us the opportunity to thank you for your gift during your lifetime. Please contact the Gift & Estate Planning team for further information, or to arrange a confidential discussion at

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