The 2024 Dame Quentin Bryce Palliative Care Scholarship

23 Jun 2024

We are delighted to announce the 2024 recipients of the Dame Quentin Bryce Postgraduate Palliative Care Nursing Scholarship – Caritas Christi palliative care nurses Jocelle Cape and Sabita Pahari.

These exceptional individuals have demonstrated outstanding academic achievements, exemplary leadership qualities, and a deep passion for advancing the nursing profession. 

Jade Murphy, General Manager of St Vincent’s Education and Learning, explained that palliative care is complex because it spans physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs. "Access to higher qualifications and training for palliative care nurses ensures they can meet all the needs of patients and families during this vulnerable time. Thank you. We are so grateful for the Dame Quentin Bryce Palliative Care Nursing Scholarships." 

This scholarship is a fitting recognition of the remarkable contributions Dame Quentin Bryce has made to the field of healthcare and her unwavering commitment to excellence.

Jocelle Cape

When Jocelle Cape was little, she wanted to be a doctor, specifically a paediatrician. Before launching into pre-med, Jocelle decided to try nursing, thinking it would be a precursor to becoming a doctor.

But after Jocelle’s mum gave her some wise advice that nursing isn’t just a job; it’s a life choice that you need to commit to, Jocelle started to think seriously about sticking to nursing. After doing a nursing placement in paediatrics, she realised two things. One, she couldn’t work with sick kids, and two, she really wanted to be a nurse.

After discovering there weren’t enough job opportunities in her birth country of the Philippines, Jocelle took a giant leap of faith, packing up her life to study aged care on the Sunshine Coast. This is where she discovered her passion for palliative care nursing.

Jocelle said while there are many reasons why she wanted to work in palliative care, one experience confirmed it for her. “When I worked in aged care, we had a patient with multi-organ failure; his body was breaking down. The nurses were frustrated because he wasn’t able to receive palliative care. I didn’t want a patient to suffer again like that, which is why I chose palliative care.”  

Jocelle joined the St Vincent’s team at Caritas Christi in 2021 and hasn’t looked back. “Before even coming to St Vincent’s, I had heard good things. “The team are friendly, compassionate and go beyond.”

“I love nursing because you get to spend quality time with patients. “Hearing their life stories can be a special experience. You can learn so much from people and how they’ve overcome obstacles in life. It’s helped me grow as a person.”

Jocelle decided to apply for the scholarship because she’s doing her diploma and is keen to do more study in the future. “One of my goals is to be a nurse practitioner. I would still be on the ward but also in the community.”

Sabita Pahari

Sabita Pahari is a born nurturer. Even as a young girl, when friends or family would get sick, she would go with them to the hospital. “It made me happy to help care for them.”

It’s no surprise that Sabita knew very early on that she wanted to become a nurse. “It’s my passion to take care of people in need. I’m honoured to be the first person in my family to become a nurse.”

Born and raised in Nepal, Sabita came to Australia in 2015 after completing her Bachelor of Nursing. She began working with an agency and proudly recalls St Vincent’s was the first hospital she worked at in Australia.

“All the staff were wonderful; that meant a lot to me. That’s why I kept hoping for the opportunity to work at St Vincent’s.

That opportunity finally became available for her to join the Caritas Christi team in 2018. “The work culture is amazing. Everyone is very supportive; I don’t think there’s a better place to work.”

Sabita says she was drawn to work in palliative care because she saw it as a place where she could make a real difference and help people. She finds the simple moments so special. “I love to bring a smile and make my patients' day beautiful by listening to them, hearing their stories, and event giving them a warm blanket or a cup of tea. I see them as a whole person and not just a patient.”

Thanks to the scholarship, Sabita will be able to do Post Graduate study this year. “When I decided to pursue further study, my manager supported me and made me aware of the scholarship.

“This will be my first degree in Australia. I want to develop my expertise and advance my knowledge in the palliative care field which I love.

“Thank you, St Vincent’s Foundation and Dame Quentin Bryce, for this scholarship. I look forward to learning new skills and gaining the knowledge to give my patients and their families the best possible care.”

Sponsored by St Vincent’s Foundation Victoria, the Dame Quentin Bryce Postgraduate Palliative Care Scholarship, valued at $10,000, is for a palliative care nurse working at St Vincent’s who is undertaking either a Postgraduate Graduate Certificate/Diploma or Masters in Palliative Care.

Click here to donate to the St Vincent's Nursing Scholarship Fund. 


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