Farmer's act of philanthropy benefits country student

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 19-3-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



A secondary student from Narrogin, Amy van Rijn, has been awarded the first Justin John Honner Scholarship for her nursing degree at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle.

John Honner, a retired farmer from Narrogin, offered the funding of a three year undergraduate nursing course for a student living in the central south west region of Western Australia (WA). It is in memory of his son Justin, who died of Synovial Sarcoma cancer in 1996.

Mr Honner said he chose to give the scholarship to a nursing student to honour the incredible nursing staff at Narrogin District Hospital, Sir Charles Gardiner and Silver Chain, who cared for Justin during his illness.

“In providing this scholarship, it is my hope to inspire courage and dedication in others, and financially support someone who, one day in the future, will nurse other ‘Justins’,” said Mr Honner.

Ms van Rijn was delighted to receive the scholarship and said she is grateful for all the opportunities it will give her.

“Having this scholarship is wonderful, I really feel honoured to be picked and it has made me more determined to succeed. I love the country and plan to go back and work there, which, along with wanting to care for people, is part of the reason why I chose to study nursing,” said Ms van Rijn.

She has spent her whole life in the country, living in the wheatbelt towns of Kendenup, Dunindin and Narrogin and is currently on a year’s rotary exchange in Belgium. She will start her nursing degree at Notre Dame in the beginning of 2009.

Media contact:

Moira Saunders 08 9433 0611, 0408 959 138