Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) is excited to announce a new multi-year, multi-component partnership with Waratah Education Foundation, which will provide much needed direct student financial assistance and support continued development of the ‘Make it Possible’ Rural and Regional Inspiration Hub.
Waratah Education Foundation is an independent charity dedicated to supporting educational opportunities for youth in Australia. Like CEF, the foundation believes education is the fuel for progress in every community and society, and is a way to create a better future.
The partnership will provide matched funding scholarships up to the value of $30,000 annually to students from NSW local foundations. The ‘matched funding’ arrangement leverages the local grants program and the Waratah Education Foundation support by distributing the funding to students who have received a CEF grant and who’s local foundation determines they need additional financial support to make their transition to higher education a success.
CEF Chief Executive Officer Juliet Petersen is proud to welcome Waratah Education Foundation to the CEF family and is excited by the opportunities the partnership will offer, particularly after the challenges regional youth have faced in recent years with drought, bushfires and COVID-19. “The matched funding scholarships provided by Waratah Education Foundation means that local foundations who may have struggled to raise funds recently are still able to provide meaningful and impactful financial support to students who need it.”
Alyssa Duncan is one of the 25 beneficiaries of CEF’s new partnership with Waratah Education Foundation. Born and raised in Moree, NSW. Studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at Macquarie University, Alyssa says she was sitting in class one day and it just ‘clicked,’ she wanted to become a teacher. “I hope to make a change in the education system for students and make school a place where students are not only happy to be there, but are keen to be there.”
Like so many CEF grant recipients over almost 30 years, the support means that she can feel financially stable while studying and pay for expensive resources such as textbooks and new technology. “I’m very grateful that I have the Country Education Foundation and Waratah Education Foundation to support me as a rural student and allow me to continue being the best version of myself.”
Alyssa Duncan – 2021 CEF Moree and Waratah Education Foundation funding recipient.
In addition, the partnership will provide ongoing funding for the CEF ‘Make it Possible’ Rural and Regional Inspiration Hub, which was successfully launched in August 2020. The free online resource inspires rural and regional youth to pursue post school education and training. The hub connects them to key information and resources during what can be an overwhelming process and shares wisdom, tips and encouragement from other CEF supported students and graduates.
The Hub is part of the ‘CEF Aspirational Influencers’ program. Nine past and present CEF recipients have become ‘Aspirational Influencers’. They will offer mentoring and hold events in their communities, all with the aim of inspiring young people to consider further education. They will also provide content for the ‘Make in Possible’ Hub, sharing their experiences on surviving the post-school education landscape, having ‘been there and done that.’
Saul Brady – CEF 2019 Rising Star, Great Lakes Education Fund grant recipient and CEF Aspirational Influencer.
Waratah Education Foundation CEO, Geraldine Campbell is delighted to partner with CEF. “Our vision is an Australia where every child has the opportunity to realise their academic potential and in providing the matched funding to CEF, this will give those students that extra support they need to achieve their life goals.
“The ‘Make it Possible’ Inspiration Hub aligns with our mission to support programs that pursue, promote and improve education outcomes for all children in Australia. And the hub will do just that, it is especially important for regional children to know what options and resources are available to them and to help them make informed decisions on their further educational choices.”