Above: Former CEF grant recipient Anna Boyes has returned to rural Queensland to teach and encourage other young rural Australians to chase their education dreams.

Former CEF grant recipient and scholarship winner Anna Boyes grew up four hours’ drive north-west of Rockhampton, in the small inland Queensland town of Clermont.

Anna’s story is a familiar one across rural Queensland. She revelled in both the freedom and security of a small country town and didn’t give much thought to life beyond Clermont. She certainly hadn’t entertained the idea of becoming a high school teacher. But with assistance from the Country Education Foundation that’s exactly what she did.

When Anna’s local high school principal told her about a grants program supporting rural and regional students to pursue further education she got some big ideas.

As Anna considered going to uni she was confronted by the tyranny of distance and financial burden. “I’m the first in my family to go to university and when I told my parents that was what I wanted to do they were really supportive but I knew they couldn’t afford to put me through a higher education degree.”

When you’re 1,000 kilometres away from the course you have applied for you feel so far away from opportunity that the hurdle seems impossible to clear.

Anna received consecutive CEF grants throughout her studies and was a 2014 Rotary Scholarship recipient.

After graduating in 2014 Anna was offered a full-time teaching position at Dysart State High School, just over an hour from her hometown of Clermont.

I feel really lucky to have grown up in the bush and be supported to go away and gain qualifications. If I can pass that story on and show kids what’s possible that would be really satisfying.

Thanks to the Snow Foundation and Origin Foundation the CEF has established an alumni project to locate former grant recipients. This project is an important step in recognising the success of our family of local committees and the students they support.

You can help more rural and regional young Australians like Anna achieve their dreams by donating to the Country Education Foundation by clicking here or calling us on 1300 652 144.