Scholarship has special meaning for surf lifesaver

Being a surf lifesaving volunteer inspired Brianna Thompson to become a nurse, and a Powell Legacy Foundation scholarship has helped her achieve her goals.

Brianna is completing her Bachelor of Nursing degree at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne and will undertake her grad year placement at Barwon Health in 2022.

Over summer she expects to be back on patrol with the Port Campbell Surf Lifesaving Club, where lifelong members Ross and Andy Powell tragically died while trying to rescue a tourist in 2019. The Powell Legacy Foundation scholarship was created in their honour.

Brianna knew the father and son and said the scholarship held a special place in her heart.

“It’s lovely to have that connection and it’s a massive support that has made life less stressful,” she said.

Brianna said she decided in Year 10 to become a nurse and never deviated from her plan.

“I’m heavily involved in the surf club and have been my entire life,” she said.

“That involvement definitely sparked my interest in working in the health field.”

The scholarship provided two $3000 payments to assist her studies, with Brianna choosing to use the $6000 to reduce her HECS debt.

“That’s practically a whole semester of uni taken off my debt, which is amazing,” she said.

She has enjoyed her course and placements, most recently at Epworth and Waverly private hospitals in Melbourne

“I was lucky with COVID that I was able to get my placements and clinicals done because there were so many cancellations.”

While looking forward to working in the field, Brianna will be back on the Port Campbell beach on patrol with the surf lifesaving club this summer.

“I enjoy it. It has a good community feel.”

The DemoDAIRY Foundation administers the Powell Legacy Scholarship and applications are now open.

The Powell Legacy Fund targets Corangamite Shire students but will consider other students outside the shire with connections to voluntary organisations in Corangamite.

More information can be found at or from DDF board member Ian Teese on 0427 358 987 or