Success stories


Sven Pohlsen

Cara use her Gwen Scott grant funding to receive a Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) at La Trobe University. Cara is a credentialled diabetes educator and works at Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS), managing the Education Service and Chronic Disease Management Program as senior clinician and team leader. Yet, Cara saw the need to continue her professional development.  

“Having a diabetes-specific nurse practitioner in community health will have a huge impact on helping people with diabetes access timely, equitable, evidence-based and expert care and diabetes education,” says Cara about her motivation to enrol in the Masters of Nursing course. “There are very limited supports available to study at this level when you work in the community health setting, especially in a rural and regional area. Many of the courses require substantial travel away from home and all require significant clinical placement hours. I knew that, in receiving the Gwen Scott grant, it would relieve a lot of pressure on myself and my family.”  

Cara has almost completed the second semester of the Masters course. Now, she has to complete two more semesters and a clinical internship. “Following that I will apply for endorsement with AHPRA as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) with my speciality area being diabetes and chronic disease,” Cara says. “From there, I hope to develop my current clinical leadership role to be able to incorporate the emerging diabetes technologies and management strategies, including medicines, to make a real difference in people’s lives.”  

As we learn more and more about diabetes care and management, Cara says that it’s almost impossible to keep up with the rapid developments without professional development. “With the Gwen Scott grant and my study, I’ve had to opportunity to dive deeper into areas of clinical interest for our team. It’s very important to keep having conversations, develop networks and furthering education,” Cara says.  



Accredited practising dietitian Steve Flint has supported people with diabetes to improve their health and wellbeing for many years. With his Gwen Scott grant funding, Steve recently completed a Graduate Certificate of Diabetes Education at Deakin University which helps him broaden his understanding of diabetes, prevention strategies and management approaches – and also got him a new job!  

Having increased his scope of practice as a clinician, Steve can now provide comprehensive diabetes self-management education and better support people living with diabetes. “I have recently secured a role as a clinical research co-ordinator and credentialled diabetes educator within the Diabetes Technology Research Group based at St Vincent’s Hospital, which was only possible by having this qualification,” Steve shares.  

As a long-time health professional member of Diabetes Victoria, Steve recommends everyone working in diabetes to apply for a Gwen Scott grant. “Regular advancements in the field of diabetes from medications to technology means ongoing education is essential to stay up to date,” Steve says. “People with diabetes look to health professionals for support and it’s our responsibility to provide our clients with best-practice advice.”  

“I recommend health professionals apply for the Gwen Scott grant to support their own professional and personal development,” Steve continues. “It will further your learning and help you to better support people with diabetes, which is ultimately why we work in this field!”