The winner of the 2018 Nikki Wise Community Services Memorial Scholarship, that awards those devoted to helping and honours a local community hero, has been announced.
Dudley Park resident Amy Jackaman won the $2000 scholarship, created in the legacy of local legend Nikki Wise.
Ms Jackaman is a mum of five boys and is studying Cert IV in Community Services at Fremantle Education Centre.
She has a particular interest in mental health services and youth suicide prevention.
The money received will help boost her community service skills and knowledge.
In 2012 Nikki Wise founded the ‘Reach Out Drop In Centre’ a food service for street present people in Mandurah’s City Centre.
By 2014 the food service was providing over 200 meals per week.
Nikki’s dedication to assisting the homeless also extended to the planning of many fundraising events to support the service and increase awareness of Homelessness in Mandurah.
Sadly in September 2016 Nikki died in a traffic accident.
Shortly after Nikki’s tragic death, the centre’s activities ceased without the support of Nikki’s tireless efforts.
Although the services did eventually recommence with thanks to the local non-profit organisations and volunteers, the City of Mandurah recognises a growing need for community support workers in the area.
One of the local government’s initiatives was the granting of a scholarship honouring Nikki’s memory.
The scholarship also aims to help carry on Nikki’s work by assisting with the training and development of existing and future community workers.
Ms Jackaman is already contributing to the community.
She is the President of the Pinjarra Junior Football Club. During that time she planned and delivered two mental health football matches.
“Our club went through two teen suicides within a month of each other right around Christmas- it had a huge impact on the community,” Ms Jackaman said.
“I’m putting together a group of like-minded people to coordinate the match annually and to put another event, perhaps a movie night over Christmas.
“With five boys, this support from the City of Mandurah to help me complete my studies will be really useful, and it will help me with my goal of making a positive difference to the mental health of our young people.”
Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams said that he was fully supportive of the local government investing in this sort of scholarship.
“Not only was Nikki Wise an inspiration and her memory should be honoured, this scholarship is an initiative that is an investment in the future of our community,” he said.
“Mandurah is a great place to live, but we know we also have challenges, and anything we can do to create the conditions for a happier and safer community I think is great.”
A new round for the scholarship is now open and closes on August 14.
For more information on how you can apply either call a community development officer on 9550 3881 on or consult the City of Mandurah website at www.mandurah.wa.gov.au/permits-and-approvals/grants/community-association-grants.