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A sister’s tribute: Scholarship supports PhD students

This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘22
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Introduction

After her cherished brother Alfred Hughes passed away, Yvonne Clements wanted to honour him by distributing his Estate among several charities.

Yvonne established a trust with the proceeds from his Estate to ensure the charities would receive annual donations in perpetuity. Most generously, Yvonne selected WEHI as one of the Trust’s beneficiaries.

When WEHI approached Yvonne to suggest the funds be used to establish a named PhD scholarship, she was thrilled that her brother would be honoured in such a special way.

The first Alfred Hughes PhD Scholarship was awarded to Amali Coorey, whose research focuses on identifying genetic mutations that drive the development of blood cancer. Yvonne has taken great pleasure in meeting Amali and hearing updates on her work.

Farming family

The Hughes family had a farm in regional Victoria for several generations. After their parents passed away, Alfred worked hard to keep the farm going, as well as travelling across Australia to work on trawlers and sheep farms and eventually in the oil and gas industry.

Eventually the farm was sold and Alfred spent 26 years working in Bass Strait. A humble, kind and quiet man, never seeking praise, is how his sister describes him.

“I think he would be chuffed at how everything is working out.”

Vital support

About seven years ago Yvonne saw a television story about WEHI’s ovarian and breast cancer research. That story remained with her and when she decided to establish the Trust, WEHI was one of the few charities chosen to receive support.

Yvonne has come to WEHI several times and always finds it inspiring.

Since her initial visit in 2021, she has increased her support from one PhD scholarship to now supporting three PhD students.

“As I travel along my journey for my much-loved brother, I am learning so much about medical research, how important it is to provide funds for much-needed research, to provide funds for those in their quest for knowledge and to realise their dreams,” she says.

First published on 01 September 2022
This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘22
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Illuminate Summer 2023
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