Caring for community

A photo of Bonita

The recipient of the University of Tasmania’s 2022 Anglicare Scholarship in Social Work is Bonita Raimondo, of Burnie.

Bonita describes herself as a proud and passionate North West Coaster.

“I was raised here and stayed here, and this is my community. I’ve got a burning desire to see it thrive,” she says.

Bonita attended Ridgley Primary School and Burnie High School. She will graduate this year from the University of Tasmania with an honours degree in social work.

Becoming a full-time student was a huge decision. She says being able to study at the West Park campus in Burnie was a game-changer.

“Through my 20s and early 30s I was working in a metallurgical laboratory and caring for my young daughter,” she explained. “I felt the need for a change, and chatted to the careers counselling team at UTAS about my options. I had a background in volunteering and Rotary Youth leadership and knew I wanted to do something that would benefit my community.”

The four-year Social Work course is delivered partly at the West Park and Launceston campuses and partly on-line. It has involved a placement at the local Headspace office and the opportunity to participate in a research project on developing a youth mental health intake assessment tool.

“Keeping my results up during COVID when I also had to home school my daughter and learn new technology was a challenge but everyone did an amazing job and I made it through,” Bonita said.

She also enjoys her role as a youth worker at the Seven Up Youth Hub in Wynyard.

“I’m open to any role in the community sector when I graduate but I’m super keen to work in the mental health space with teenagers,” Bonita says. “I can also see myself working in the aged care sector further down the track. It’s an area which needs a lot of support.”

She is very grateful to receive the Anglicare scholarship.

It’s given me practical help with transport and equipment but also in helping me to maintain my focus. It gives me the space to feel supported in this final important year – I feel I can do it well and with meaning, rather than simply surviving.

 More information:

The Anglicare Scholarship in Social Work is worth $5,000. It is offered each year to a final year student of social work at the University of Tasmania. The University selects the scholarship winner.

Read interviews with 2021 scholarship recipient Tamar Campbell and 2020 winner, Jessanna Gent.

Visit the University of Tasmania’s School of Social Work webpage for course outlines, information on career opportunities and student case studies.

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