Tracey makes a new start

Tracey Padwick knows what it takes to start over. Currently studying her Bachelor of Social Work at Charles Sturt in Port Macquarie, Tracey is forging a new life for herself and her 11-year-old daughter, Emma after leaving a violent relationship.

“I was in a very violent marriage, which eventually left my daughter with partial brain damage. During this time, I was also diagnosed with a chronic illness known as Wegener’s Granulamatosis and spent three months in hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy. This disease has a 20 per cent survival rate – I am one of the blessed 20 per cent. Once I recovered, Emma and I made the decision to move but due to the circumstances of my marriage, we left with nothing”.

Tracey and Emma now have their own home in Tuncurry, close to the services Emma needs and Tracey’s elderly parents. However, travelling from Tuncurry to Port Macquarie for classes and to work placements in her old car took a financial toll on Tracey. So she was delighted to discover she was a recipient of the $20,000 Carole and Stan Droder Scholarship. “Emma was able to hear the news. Our first reaction was to stand looking at each other in complete disbelief, followed by a lot of squealing and jumping around. We were both completely in awe and grateful for this gracious gift.”

Tracey has used her scholarship to ensure her little gold car – affectionately called Nugget – is roadworthy. She also caught up on utility bills and purchased a new laptop to replace the previous computer stolen from her car.

“Feeling like life is financially under control is a gift that means so much. The financial stress that comes with being a single studying parent has abated and I can now focus on my daughter and my studies. I could never express it in words what this scholarship means. Thank you seems so inadequate but it is all I have. We will be forever grateful and indebted to the Droders for their kindness. They have brought a blessing to our lives.”