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CharitiesAidWelfare, Education Training

2023 Charlie Bell Scholarship recipients announced

Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland 2 mins read
RMHC SEQ CEO Emma Thompson (left) with Charlie Bell Scholarship recipients - Sophie Nance (middle) and Sophie Wagner (right)

Last week, Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland (RMHC SEQ) announced two successful recipients of the 2023 Charlie Bell Scholarship award.


The scholarship awards $5,000 grants annually to deserving young people aged 15-20 who has had their education impacted by a serious illness or injury and are planning to go on to tertiary education.


The grant money can go towards university or TAFE fees, apprenticeship tools, supplies, or anything that will help them reach their tertiary goals. 


Recipients celebrated with their loved ones and RMHC SEQ staff and volunteers on the rooftop of the South Brisbane House.


Diagnosed with Maroteaux-Lamy Syndrome (MPS 6) at an early age, 2023 recipient Sophie Nance, said she constantly played catch-up at school due to weekly infusions and other medical appointments.


“My diagnosis has come with a lot of challenges but I haven’t let it stop me from pursuing my dreams.”


“I am extremely grateful to have been chosen as a successful recipient of the Charlie Bell Scholarship. The scholarship money is going to lighten the financial burden and allow me focus on my studies in becoming a social worker,” she said.


Second recipient, Sophie Wagner said that although her diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis has had a major impact on her life, she won’t let that stop her from pursuing a career in English Literature. 


“I make a conscious effort to focus on the positives in my life, but living with Cystic Fibrosis has definitely, in one way or another, impacted my education, social life and mental health.”


“Being awarded the Charlie Bell Scholarship has felt as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders – I can study my dream course without worrying about the financial side of it all,” she said.


RMHC SEQ Chief Executive Officer, Emma Thompson congratulated both Miss Nance and Miss Wagner on their incredible efforts and wished them the best of luck for the future. 


“When a young person is dealing with a serious illness or injury, other parts of their life, particularly their education, can come to a standstill,” she said.


“The Charlie Bell Scholarship is such a special program of our organisation and we feel privileged to be able to give young people a chance to get their education back on track.”


For more information, visit:,

Key Facts:

Sophie Nance from Springfield Lakes 

Sophie Wagner from Toowoomba

About us:

Ronald McDonald House Charities South East Queensland provides essential accommodation and support programs for seriously ill or injured children and their families. Ronald McDonald Houses help to families stay together in the midst of physical, emotional and financial stress, while being supported by dedicated and friendly staff and volunteers.

Contact details:

Erin Saroglia, Marketing and Communications Officer

E:   T: 0448 776 835


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