Media release

Three Queensland medical students win scholarships

AMA Queensland Foundation has awarded three medical students with scholarships to assist them to complete their medical studies and achieve their ambition to become doctors and serve the Queensland community.

Wylie Leeson, 26, Taylor Edgley, 27 and Goachagorn Darathai, 23, have been awarded AMA Queensland Foundation Medical Student Scholarships of $10,000 each. 

“We typically only offer two scholarships a year, but thanks to the recent generosity of our donors, this is the second year in a row we have been able to award three,” AMA Queensland Foundation President Dr Dilip Dhupelia said.

“This year we were overwhelmed receiving applications from 84 deserving medical students, making it extremely difficult to narrow it down to three recipients.

“We know the cost of living and study are hitting medical students harder than ever, and we are grateful to be able to help even a handful of individuals.

“It is an honour to award the scholarships to three outstanding students who have remained determined in their pursuit to study medicine despite significant personal, financial and medical hurdles.

“I want to thank every person who has donated to AMA Queensland Foundation. You have truly made an impact on the lives of your future medical colleagues.”

Wylie’s story:

  • Currently in his fifth year of medicine at James Cook University (JCU), Wylie was forced to take a leave of absence from study and quit his two jobs after being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis during his third year.

  • After accumulating over $7,000 in debt from healthcare costs, he could no longer afford to continue medicine, a field that is challenging even without a chronic disease.

  • The scholarship will support Wylie in his physical and financial recovery so he can continue to pursue a medical degree and achieve his dream of becoming a Rural Generalist that arose from his experiences growing up in the West.

  • “This scholarship would be a lifeline, preventing major flare-ups with regular rheumatological appointments, medication trials, and reducing financial stress. It would allow me to complete my final two years of the degree without taking another gap year, starting my Rural Generalist training as soon as possible.

Taylor’s story:

  • Taylor was 12 when she lost her father to a battle with cancer. Despite her dreams of becoming a doctor, she was forced to leave school during year 12 before finding work as a website developer.

  • At 21, Taylor’s mum gave her the confidence to return to high school, which opened the door for her to complete a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences which she achieved with a distinction.

  • She was then accepted into medicine at JCU where she is now a third-year student, maintaining excellent academic progress despite working two jobs and volunteering for a student-run surgical club.

  • “Receiving this scholarship would be life changing, as it would allow me to reduce my working hours during the study period. My mum, a single parent and a renter herself, cannot afford to support me and so I pay my share of the rent. With less pressure to keep up with bills, I could save enough money to make honours possible.”

Goachagorn’s story:

  • Goachagorn moved from her home country, Thailand, to Australia with her mother at the age of nine, seeking better education opportunities.

  • After experiencing temporary homelessness during her second and third years of medical school, she relied on the generosity of her mother’s friend for accommodation until she could secure rental assistance through Centrelink. She is now in her fourth and final year at Griffith University.

  • Her career aspirations to become a cardiothoracic surgeon stem from a desire to uplift her family from poverty and address healthcare disparities in underserved communities.

  • “Currently, I can only work part-time to supplement my income, leaving me with little financial security to cover essential expenses such as rent and utilities. The scholarship would provide much-needed relief, allowing me to focus on my studies without the constant worry of financial instability.”


  • The AMA Queensland Foundation was established in 2000 as the charitable arm of AMA Queensland, with a mission to improve medical conditions in areas of need.

  • Part of this is to financially support disadvantaged students to undertake medical training. 

  • In addition to its annual scholarships program, the AMA Queensland Foundation offers GP Registrars training and research bursaries.

  • In 2023, three JCU medical students were awarded the annual scholarships.

Related topics