Passion for helping others recognised


Tara Murray

Camille Caranto’s passion for helping others has been recognised as she was awarded the first Bronwen Merrigan Scholarship.

The Duke Street Community House launched the scholarship in honour of former house manager Bronwen Merrigan.

Merrigan was house manager for 20 years and was recognised as Brimbank citizen of the year in 2009.

She died of cancer in 2019.

Current house manager Lana Bedford said Ms Caranto impressed the panel with her resilience to overcome difficult personal circumstances, her academic achievements, her sports leadership and her significant volunteer contributions to the Brimbank community.

The Bronwen Merrigan Scholarship comprises a $3000 grant and mentoring program to give young women assistance to pay for things like course fees, computers, and tools and equipment.

Ms Caranto said she was honoured to receive the scholarship.

“I am genuinely grateful to be the inaugural winner of the Bronwen Merrigan Scholarship,” she said.

“Words cannot express how thankful I am for this opportunity. I hope I am worthy to represent the works and advocacy of Bronwen Merrigan in honour of her in the community.”

The 18-year-old is about to start studying nursing and said she applied for the scholarship to help with the cost of her education.

Among Ms Caranto’s goals is to join a medical mission in a third world country after being inspired by the movie, Crazy Beautiful You

“The mum who is a doctor, brought her estranged daughter and they reconciled when the daughter appreciated the work her mum does during medical missions in a rural province.

“In addition to this, I enquired around my church community (St Peter Chanel, Deer Park) and my youth group on their experiences doing medical missions.

“After hearing testimonies, it touched my heart and was convinced this is something I surely want to do after finishing my nursing course.

“I believe that my experience will develop me as a caring and humble person. This will also broaden my view of the world and those around me.”