Each year, Anglicare provides a $4000 scholarship to a University of Tasmania student in their final year of a social work degree.
The 2019 recipient is Jacinta Morgan from Launceston. “I’ve wanted to be a social worker since I was about 15,” she said. “I saw young people going through hard things but no-one really listened to them. It started something in me where I wanted to find out how to do that well”.
“It turns out I love social work and can’t imagine doing anything else,” said Jacinta.
Jacinta has undertaken regular community work since 2010, including a role supporting people who had experienced sexual assault. “I learned some skills in that job that I will never let go of,” she said. She is also an enthusiastic volunteer, serving as secretary on the board of the Young Seeds Foundation, a local charity organisation that helps children in south Sudan access safe education across the border in Uganda. The charity finds sponsors to cover the cost of the children’s school fees, supplies and board.
Alongside her studies, Jacinta is employed at a crisis accommodation shelter for homeless teenagers. “My passion has always been around youth work. There are some large gaps in child protection and other practical services for teenagers,” she said.
Jacinta said the Anglicare scholarship would help her to achieve a more balanced approach this year. “I have worked huge hours throughout the whole time I’ve been studying,” she said. “There were times when I would work a night shift and then go straight to uni for the day. I really wanted to be able to reduce my work hours during my final year and this scholarship gives me a bit more freedom to do that. It is really significant to know I will have a better work-life balance and won’t be exhausted”. Jacinta said the scholarship had also enabled her to purchase much-needed equipment. “My laptop was on its last legs, so it’s fantastic that I won’t have to battle with that”.
Jacinta is committed to a career in social work when she completes her studies. “As a social worker you are an agent of change,” she said. “It’s about changing systems for the better. And along the way, if you can help the world look better for one person that day that’s a pretty good reason to go to work”.
Anglicare CEO Chris Jones said the scholarship was one example of a long-term partnership between UTAS and Anglicare. “Supporting the education and training of social workers is important to us,” he said. “We provide this scholarship annually, as well as regular work placement opportunities for students”.
“A degree in Social Work helps to equip students for a range of rewarding careers in community services in our state”.