Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today awarded the inaugural Carol Friday Scholarship for Excellence to Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurse Michelle Richardson, who was driven by a desire to “pay it forward”.
Speaking at the Maternal and Child Health Nurse Conference, Ms Mikakos also announced an investment of $133 million for the vital MCH service, as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Budget 2016/17.
This is the single largest Victorian Government investment in maternal and child health to date.
Michelle Richardson was awarded the scholarship by Ms Mikakos and Carol Friday’s husband David Friday, and daughter Alex. Ms Richardson has worked as a nurse and a midwife across rural and remote areas, including in Aboriginal communities and in Papua New Guinea. Ms Richardson is also a volunteer with the St Kilda Mums and St Kilda Gatehouse charities.
The scholarship was established in the name of Carol Friday, the dedicated Victorian MCH nurse who passed away, alongside her son Grieg, in tragic circumstances aboard Germanwings flight 4U 9525.
The scholarship will allow Ms Richardson to complete a Masters degree at La Trobe University, strengthening her practice as a maternal and child health nurse – a job that provides crucial support for children’s development, health and learning.
The Government is making Victoria the Education State – this starts with giving every Victorian child a healthy start in life.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Victoria’s MCH nurses play an integral role, giving children the best start in life so they can grow up healthy and provide support to parents right from the birth of a new child.”
“I’m delighted that Carol Friday’s dedication to families and children will live on in Ms Richardson’s work. I look forward to hearing more about her good works in the future.”
Quote attributable to Alex Friday daughter of Carol
“Michelle’s work in supporting the most vulnerable members of our community is heart-warming to hear about. I know that mum would be so proud to have her name linked to such great work.”
Quote attributable to Michelle Richardson winner of the Carol Friday MCH Excellence Scholarship
“Victoria’s MCH service is the gold standard that others worldwide benchmark against. Carol Friday’s played a big part in shaping this contribution to this specialist field of nursing and this can neither be understated or underestimated.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020