Charles See Kee Scholarship recipient, John Chol Deng Chol, was just 10 years old when he fled his home town of Bor-town in South Sudan, amid the outbreak of the civil war in 1983.
He fled to Ethiopia and began primary school, before fleeing another civil war, taking refuge in Uganda and attending secondary school.
“I grew up in a less privileged community, whereby I lost my four brothers in the South Sudan civil war, and I have remained alone.”
In 2001, John was picked up by the Australian Government and taken to Canberra for refuge.
“After I came to Canberra, I was like a lost sheep because I had no friends in the new environment, as I saw everyone like a stranger.
“However, the strangers treated me as their brother and friend, and I changed my mind from the lost sheep to be an Australian citizen.“I am the first person in my family to attend university.”
John says he chose to study a Bachelor of Nursing because he wanted to help people in healthcare facilities, and repay Australians' generosity.
For John, winning the Charles See Kee Scholarship means he can focus on his studies, without the ongoing threat of financial hardship.
“This scholarship will energise me to improve my grades, and encourage me to study hard to achieve more goals.
“I aim to be a good role model for other students, and I hope to contribute a better job to this country in the future.
“My professional nursing training has prepared me to understand holistic caring and good communication, which effectively helps me interact with different people.
“I will use these skills as a ladder between different work environments to enable me to provide adequate quality patient care across Australian communities.
“I want to work as a registered nurse in mental health services to help people when they need assistance during their illness and provide holistic care to them, such as cultural respect, dignity for their human rights to be treated equally.
“I will treat every patient with person-centred care according to their ethnicity, values, cultural background, age, gender, and religion.”