The Geoffrey White Scholarship for medicine was established in 2016 by the combined efforts of friends and family of Geoffrey White (Fr 1970), the St Andrew’s college community and the St Andrew’s college foundation. It is currently the only perpetual scholarship to support medical students.
The scholarship is in honour of eminent alumnus Associate Professor Geoffrey White AM (Fr 1970), who was a world-renowned pioneer in the field of Vascular Surgery. Geoff tragically passed away in 2012 after a two-year battle with melanoma.
A second-generation Andrewsman, Geoff was best known for being a leader in the development of vascular treatments that replaced intrusive open heart surgery with far less invasive procedures, vastly improving the survival rates of patients. Geoff collaborated with colleagues, including fellow Andrewsman Emeritus Professor John Harris (Fr 1967) and Dr Michael Stevenson, to develop innovative new techniques and medical devices for minimally invasive endovascular surgery making open surgery for blocked arteries virtually obsolete.
His work led to many patents worldwide, three published textbooks and countless research papers. He was a founding member of the International Society of Endovascular Surgery and a Member of the International Society of Cardiovascular Surgery. His work continues in the lives of patients who benefit today from his pioneering techniques.
The memorial scholarship is for a student studying medicine at the University of Sydney who maintains a distinction average, and has a demonstrated need for financial support. The scholarship has supported three students so far, and the College will continue to honour Geoff White’s legacy through this scholarship, inspiring and providing for medical students in years to come.
We spoke with 2020 recipient Dyone Bettega (Fr 2018), pictured right, about how the Geoffrey White Scholarship has helped her achieve her goals. Dyone is in her fourth year, studying a Bachelor of Medical Science at The University of Sydney. She is also a Pastoral Care Leader and avid sportswoman, having been a member of the Rosebowl Rowing, Hockey, Basketball and Athletics Teams during her time at College so far.
What have been your favourite experiences at College?
I love meeting my peers who have come to St Andrew’s from all walks of life and with so many interesting stories, unique interests and amazing personalities! Additionally, I’ve loved partaking in any and all sport at College. It’s such an incredible way to foster strong team spirit, to have a laugh and to enjoy competing for each other and the wider College community.
What are your plans for this next year?
This year I will be continuing my residence at St Andrew’s College and undertaking my final two units of study for my degree. Subsequently, I am hoping to enter into an honours research year and simultaneously prepare for the GAMSAT.
How do you see scholarships making an impact at St Andrew’s?
Scholarships give opportunities for people to become a member of the College community who would otherwise not have been able to afford the experience. I think scholarships are crucial in ensuring diversity in our College cohorts by allowing students with various experiences, from various cultures and with differing world views to come together and create a meshwork of ideas. This is enormously important for enacting change and progression through the fabric of society.
How important has receiving financial support been to you this year?
Financial support has meant that I am able to live at College in such a dynamic environment that allows its members to grow and learn a lot more about themselves in the process. I have loved rubbing shoulders with people who I know will go on to lead our communities as our politicians, doctors, teachers and lawyers. My peers have inspired me greatly to reach for the stars and set my mind to whatever I want to achieve.
What would you like to tell those who made this scholarship possible?
I would like to thank you for the monetary support the scholarship has given me, thus allowing me to reside at College in 2020. Additionally, and more poignant for me, I would like to thank you for awarding me this prestigious scholarship, it has given me great confidence in my own academic ability and has pushed me to thrive academically over this past year at College. Being the recipient of the Geoffrey White Scholarship was an ever present reminder to work hard, believe in myself and to do Geoffrey and the College proud through strong academic results.
The Advancement Office would like to thank Dyone for taking the time to share her story with us.
To read more impact of giving stories click here.