Meet Megan Beecher, Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT) Scholar.
In 2020, Megan was the recipient of the AVCAT Australian War Widows NSW Scholarship. The support provided by AWW NSW to Megan continues throughout her Bachelor of Primary Education (Dean’s Scholar) study until 2023.
Megan’s grandfather, Major Arthur McDermott (Grandpa Mac, as he was to Megan and her brothers) was a veteran, serving in the Australian Army from 1951 – 1975.
The challenges of the pandemic have not escaped Megan. Megan studied online, battled ill health of her own, and split her time between her home in Griffith and with family in Berry (where Megan has eventually moved) to help her Mum care for her Nanna, who was undergoing palliative care. Sadly, her Nanna passed away at home on August 18th. A very sad day, yet poignant as it was Vietnam Veterans Day, the 55th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan; where her husband (Megan’s Grandpa) was posted at Nui Dat with 1st Australian Task Force as Second-in-Command of 1st Field Regiment of the Artillery.
Megan has shown immense strength and resilience to still achieve 1 High Distinction and 2 Distinctions from her studies in semester 1.
Megan also undertook a three-week professional placement through the University of Wollongong with Griffith Public School, this was an incredibly valuable experience for her as she learned a lot from the very talented staff and eager students.
Megan is very grateful for the support AWW NSW provides. It offers incredible financial relief and significantly lightens the burden that tertiary study can present. Megan’s focus and tenacity are to be commended.
In Megan’s words:
“The constant, underlying motivation of; ‘would Grandpa Mac be proud?’ has seen me come to understand that educating children is a heart-warming joy, amazing privilege, and great responsibility. In the same way Grandpa Mac taught me; as teachers, we are not responsible for preparing students for something – it is our job to help students prepare themselves for anything!”
AWW NSW is very proud of Megan’s achievements amongst her own personal challenges and those endured throughout the pandemic.
We look forward to hearing more about Megan’s academic journey and wish her better health.