Building resilient regional and remote Queensland communities.

2021 scholarship recipient, Holly McLean

Scholarship recipient furthers our commitment to dentistry

The QCoal Foundation awarded the sixth $30,000 QCoal Foundation Scholarship to dentistry student Holly McLean. Holly, who completed her studies at Emerald State High School, commenced the first year of her five-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery at James Cook University’s (JCU’s) Cairns campus in 2021.

Selected from an impressive field of candidates studying a range of disciplines, Holly showed a strong interest in dentistry throughout her secondary studies and a clear understanding of the challenges of oral health service delivery in regional and remote communities.

“Growing up in a regional and rural area, I witnessed how hard it can be for people to get the health care they need and studying Dentistry at JCU is a great opportunity that will allow me to take my skills back to rural communities like Emerald,” Holly explained.

“I’ve been inspired by the people who provide health and medical care in regional areas, and organisations like the Royal Flying Doctor Service that aim to improve these communities.

“During my first few weeks as a Dentistry student I’ve been very nervous, but also excited for this new beginning. We have already sat through many lectures and we’re also doing hands on work, such as the simulation clinic.”

Holly expressed her gratitude in receiving the Scholarship.

“I’m very grateful for the support – it will be a big help dealing with the stress and costs that come with living this far from home, and now I can be more focused on my studies.”

QCoal Foundation Chairman Christopher Wallin commended Holly on her commitment to her chosen profession.

“The Directors and I, along with members of the JCU and Foundation staff on our Scholarship Selection Committee, were particularly impressed with Holly’s commitment to dentistry through her volunteering at a local dental practice and, importantly, her ability to reflect her understanding of the challenges in accessing oral health services in regional and remote Queensland areas.”

“Through our long-standing partnership with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Queensland (RFDS) and our role as Founding Partner of the RFDS Dental Service which delivers essential oral health care services to those communities, we understand the need to address the disparity in health service delivery in these areas and we support the education of future health practitioners.”

“We are delighted that Holly has shown such a strong interest in pursuing dentistry and to contributing to those communities in the future.”

Previous recipients of the scholarship have studied Medicine, Vet Science, Earth Science, Engineering and Advanced Science at JCU.