On 16 February 2024, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) honoured the memory of Lt Col Vivian Bullwinkel and 21 of her dedicated wartime nursing colleagues with scholarships awarded to emerging Australian nurse leaders.

The ‘Bullwinkel Scholarships’ – valued at up to $10,000 each – were awarded at Duntroon House at the Royal Military College in Canberra, on the 82nd anniversary of the massacre of the brave Australian nurses at Radji Beach on Bangka Island, Indonesia, on 16 February 1942.

The 22 scholarships carry the names of the 21 nurses who died and the sole survivor, Lt Col Vivian Bullwinkel, whose statue now stands in tribute at the Australian War Memorial.

Aspen Medical Foundation proudly funded the ACN Foundation Lt Col Vivian Bullwinkel scholarship. The inaugural recipient of the scholarship was First Nations woman Melanie Robinson MACN.

Speaking at the event, Founder and Executive Chair of Aspen Medical Glenn Keys AO said, “Appropriately, this scholarship is in addition to 21 scholarships in the name of Vivian’s nursing colleagues who died on that awful day 82 years ago.

“Having devoted herself to the nursing profession and to honouring those killed on Bangka Island, I am sure Vivian would be overwhelmed by this commitment.”

To date, the Aspen Medical Foundation has provided more than $500,000 in scholarships to First Nations students studying health-related degrees.

Woman and man standing in front of pull-up banners
Left - Right: Melanie Robinson MACN and Glenn Keys AO
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