Margaret Roberts Motor Neuron Disease Research Scholarship

Since April 2006 The Rotary Club of Bendigo South has been in a joint partnership arrangement with Australian Rotary Health and The Florey Institute to fund PhD studies into the cause and a cure for Motor Neuron Disease (MND).

In 2002 Margaret Roberts a well known Bendigo lady, Past National President of Inner Wheel and wife of our member Alwyn became ill. After much testing she was diagnosed with MND and eventually died in 2005.

Our club decided that we should honour her by assisting the fight against MND.

We set off with the aim to fund a PhD scholar and with the guidance of Australian Rotary HealthAdam Walker of The Howard Florey Institute became the recipient of our scholarship.

The funding arrangement spread over three years was:

  • $10,000 a year for 3 years from The Rotary Club of Bendigo South
  • $10,000 a year from Melbourne University
  • $6,000 a year plus admin support from Australian Rotary Health

Our initial aim was to raise $10,000 a year from 2006 which in our situation was a daunting task. Support from local Rotary clubs, Inner Wheel Clubs, individual members and businesses with which Margaret was associated was outstanding and after the first year we had not only met our first year target but had sufficient funds to pay for our three year commitment.

Growing in confidence we decided to ask to fund a second student and Rebecca Sheean was selected in 2007. Rebecca is now in her final months of study.

As a result of continued ongoing pledged support and some legacies we have sufficient funds to apply for a third scholar. Australian Rotary Health is currently advertising in medical journals for applicants to apply.

Both Andrew and Rebecca have visited our club a few times. We host a MND event each May to let supporters know how their funds are being used.

We welcome support so that the Margaret Roberts Motor Neuron Research Scholarships may continue long into the future.

Please contact our club or Australian Rotary Health if you wish to become a Financial Friend and help continue the work of Australian Medical research.



The Rotary Club presents $4,000 to the local MND Support Group at its annual Celebration night in 2016.