Chelsea Xu, Class of 2015

Having completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne (UoM), Chelsea is now undertaking the Doctor of Medicine.

“In 2009, I skipped (with permission!) morning classes with two other students from my primary school to attend a sit-down test in one of the Luther classrooms. I just did my best and wasn’t expecting much, so was really very surprised and honoured to receive an academic scholarship that supported my learning at Luther from Years 7-12.

Later, when I took VCE literature classes in that same room, I was always reminded of that test day. It marked the start of my Luther journey! On another occasion I auditioned for a Music scholarship. I must have played Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet and Obertass Mazurka by Henryk Wieniawski particularly well on the day, because the panel awarded me a small music scholarship. Actually, both of those pieces remain two of my favourites to play today.”

Ten years on, those scholarships are still bearing fruit – not just for Chelsea, but the wider community. Having completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne (UoM) in 2018, Chelsea is now undertaking the Doctor of Medicine there, set to finish in 2022. In addition to her studies, Chelsea has become actively involved with the UoM community. She was involved in SWOT, a volunteer tutoring group targeted towards students with a disadvantaged background. SWOT coordinates Masterclasses that travel to schools and hosts revision days (at the university) so students get a taste for uni life.

Currently, Chelsea leads the Teddy Bear Hospital. She works with over 1000 University of Melbourne student volunteers who build a giant ‘hospital’ at the Melbourne Convention Centre, for kids to bring their teddies and discover that going to hospital isn’t scary, but somewhere you’ll be looked after by caring, friendly people. Medical students also get a highly valuable chance to practice their communication with children.

Currently, Chelsea feels drawn to paediatrics or physicians training, but her volunteering has also opened her mind to other options. For example, at the Australian Medical Student Association National Leadership Development Seminar in 2019, Chelsea worked with other medical students on a project to increase medical student exposure to creative careers. Who knows what medical fields she might delve into throughout her career? In contemplating her future, Chelsea can’t help but look back. She both acknowledges and is grateful for the wonderful foundation that was her learning platform at Luther. She attributes her time at the school with instilling the values of diligence, empathy, living meaningfully and giving back. They remain the motivation for how she lives and the choices she makes.

Chelsea also appreciates the encouragement she was given to develop a healthy balanced lifestyle. She loved the sporting opportunities she had at Luther and remembers the energy of the sports staff; the way they brought tremendous enjoyment to physical activity. “That enjoyment has continued for me today,” Chelsea said. “Being active is still a big part of my life and identity. I also think tackling physical challenges has the flow on effect of building confidence and helping you develop the mindset to tackle other challenges positively.”

As far as the benefits of her scholarships go, Chelsea couldn’t be clearer. “Those scholarships set me up for who I am today,” she said. “I wouldn’t have had the learning opportunities I had without them. I’m still amazed to think that people I never met or knew had the foresight and generosity of spirit to invest in me – my learning and my future. I guess I always sensed the inherent responsibility of that, but it didn’t create pressure. It created motivation. Motivation to be and do my best, to make the most of all that had been given to me and to find a way for it to impact others for good too.”

There’s absolutely no doubt in Chelsea’s mind that an investment in someone’s learning lasts a lifetime and has a ripple effect of benefit that’s exponential as the recipient flourishes and impacts so many others. “This,” Chelsea said, “is especially the case when the education the scholarship supports involves the type of holistic learning offered at Luther where they manage to strike that all-important balance between academics, music, sport and personal development.”