Scholarship and Award honours Kirsty Boden

The life and sacrifice of Loxton-born nurse Kirsty Boden, who was killed in the 2017 London Bridge terrorist attack, has been recognised in her naming as a Distinguished Alumna by Flinders University, and the awarding of a scholarship for rural nurses.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling honoured Kirsty Boden with a posthumous Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award during a special ceremony at Renmark. Received by Kirsty’s family, the award acknowledges her selfless role to care for others in a terrible incident, and the bravery which cost this dynamic young woman her life.

“Kirsty Boden reflected the spirit and displayed the values that our University holds so dear,”Professor Stirling said.

“Embodying all that is good in the face of adversity and acting selflessly at the expense of her own life, Kirsty revealed in the most extraordinary way her devotion, bravery and professionalism.”

“Her legacy will be to inspire future generations of our graduate nurses to have courage, to selflessly use their nursing skills at all times, and to let their actions speak to the world” he said.

It is a legacy which will have immediate significance for the two inaugural recipients of the Kirsty Boden Memorial Nursing Scholarship.

In September 2017, the Government of South Australia announced a $100,000 grant to establish the Kirsty Boden Memorial Nursing Scholarship at Flinders University, comprising 10 scholarships to be awarded to final year nursing students from regional South Australia over the next five years.

The first recipients of $10,000 scholarships for 2018 studies are Rita Amyan and James Cheeseman.

Rita hails from Hungary, where she was a Registered Nurse before coming to Australia in 2002. The 41 year old single mother of two boys resumed nursing studies at Flinders in 2016, and is delighted that the scholarship brings financial security to her family while enabling her to fully commit to completing her nursing degree.

“The scholarship has lifted a weight from (my) shoulders and means I’ll be able to fully enjoy my placements and learn as much as I can to become an outstanding nurse like Kirsty” she said.

James left behind nursing studies he’d started in 2003 to work for a decade in the defence industry. However in 2014 the shock of having a stillborn son prompted him to move with his family to the Riverland and resume his nursing studies.

“This sad event prompted us to look at our lives and see if we were living up to our values,” he said.

In 2016 the 34 year old resumed his nursing degree at the Flinders Rural Clinical School. He says it is the happiest he and his family have ever been and it now feels right.

Professor Stirling says the Kirsty Boden Memorial Scholarship stands as a powerful legacy that acknowledges “the indelible mark she left on those who knew her and in all that she achieved”.

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