Years later, in 2007, their youngest daughter Rachael followed in her parents’ footsteps and studied a Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Flinders University, after completing studies in the performing arts.
After graduating, she accepted a position as a speech pathologist in a rural town and for a decade enjoyed working with country families.
“Though Rachael spent many years in the city, her heart was always in the country and in country living,” says Joan.
“With her background in the performing arts she was particularly good at engaging with children who found it hard to communicate.”
However, in 2019 the Kirkham family were devastated when, after a short but severe illness, Rachael’s time on earth ended before she was able to achieve all that she wanted to in life.
“It was as we tried to make some sense of our loss that we as a family decided to make a bequest to Flinders University in Rachael’s name,” says Eric.
Included in their Will, Eric and Joan’s bequest will fund the annual Rachael Kirkham Speech Pathology Scholarship at Flinders University.
“As a family we are hoping this bequest will help a student from a remote or isolated region who is studying speech pathology or an allied science,” says Joan.
“The scholarship may help with the cost of living, study costs or accommodation – wherever the greatest need lies – in order to allow the country student the opportunity to pursue their education and their potential.”
Eric and Joan hope the scholarship will allow Rachael to posthumously make a difference in an area of study and work that she was so passionate about, while also supporting a country student.
“Flinders has always been open to encouraging students from different backgrounds and this will be a small way to help a country student who might otherwise not be able to pursue an academic career,” says Eric.
Now retired, Eric and Joan are still busy serving in the church in a voluntary capacity, while working on their bountiful backyard full of fruit, vegetables and chooks.
Contemplating his accomplishments in life, Eric notes, “Life has many seasons but for me it is the people who I have met and helped, along with those who have helped me, that is our greatest achievement.”
Leave a lasting legacy, include a bequest in your Will to support students or research at Flinders University. Contact Mark Goldsmith on 0401 123 866 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.