The Bullwinkel Project

Be inspired. Help us remember and honour leadership, courage, bravery and personal sacrifice. Please donate today.

The ACN Foundation continues to raise funds for The Bullwinkel Scholars Program, to provide scholarships in perpetuity for registered nurses to allow future generations of nurses to lead their contemporary journey in providing exceptional skilled health care for all Australians.

The Bullwinkel Scholars program was created to honour the memory of 21 Australian nurses who died at the Bangka Island massacre on the 16th of February 1942 and Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel, AO, MBE, ARRC, ED, FNM, FRCNA, the sole survivor of this tragic event.

Vivian advocated for better education and conditions for nurses, established and raised funds for the Australian Nurses’ Memorial, and later held the role of President of the Royal College of Nursing, Australia, which is now the Australian College of Nursing. The Australian College of Nursing Foundation wishes to continue Vivian’s legacy by providing Scholarships to inspire the younger generations of nurses in Australia who are as passionate and committed as Vivian and her nursing colleagues who served and died for their country.

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“Chin up, girls. I’m proud of you all and I love you all.”

Matron Irene Drummond called out as she walked into the water to her death on Radji Island Beach, 16 February 1942.

The Bullwinkel Project and The Bullwinkel Scholars Program has been endorsed by General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC(MIL) CVO MC (Ret’d); Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d); The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Defence; General Angus J Campbell AO DSC, Chief of the Defence Force; Major General (Ret’d) Elizabeth (Liz) Cosson AM CSC. View endorsement letters here




To view the Bullwinkel Scholar recipients for 2024, please visit our Scholars page.

Our supporters

Thank you to all donors to The Bullwinkel Project – every donation contributes to ensuring it’s success. Leadership donations include:

  • Ro Hogan in memory of her parents and grandparents
  • The David and Jennie Sutherland Foundation
Aspen Medical


Funding provided by the Department of Health and Aged Care and Department of Defence.

Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care
Australian Government Defence

Thank you for being inspired!

The Bullwinkel Scholars Program aims to inspire generations and commemorate all nurses and midwives and remind us of their contributions of selfless service to Australia.

These nursing scholarships in the names of the 21 Australian nurses who died at Bangka island will inspire younger generations of nurses to lead their own contemporary journey in providing exceptional skilled healthcare for all Australians.

We are appreciative of your taking the time to making a donation to this inspirational initiative.

Vivian Bullwinkel Project Donation

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