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Coleambally is a small town in the Riverina of New South Wales with a population of about 650 people. Darlington Point is a few minutes down the road, and larger with just over 1000 residents.

The volunteers of CEF Coleambally/Darlington Point are particularly dedicated and committed to supporting the further education of students from the small, close-knit region. They are heavily involved in the community.

They are always fundraising, ever-present at local events and establishing wonderful relationships with local businesses, like Coleambally Irrigation Co-Operative Limited (CICL).

In partnership they have established the CICL Grant Latta Bonded Scholarship. This offering not only provides financial support to the lucky recipient to assist with their studies, but also opportunities for work experience and employment once they have completed their studies.

George Payne commenced his Bachelor of Agriculture in 2019 at the University of Melbourne with help from CEF Coleambally/Darlington Point. He was awarded the inaugural CICL Grant Latta Bonded Scholarship to support the remainder of his studies. After graduating at the end of 2021, he headed home to ‘Coly’ to take up employment with CICL.

 It’s great to have a local enterprise supporting our young people who will bring back their expertise to our community.
CEF Coleambally-Darlington Point volunteers

Local foundation:
CEF Coleambally-Darlington Point

Bachelor of Agriculture

2019 – 2021

University of Melbourne

Coleambally Irrigation Cooperative Ltd


You received a grant from your local foundation. How important was that to you and what did it enable you to achieve?
This support was extremely important to me as it gave me more time to focus on my studies rather than be worried about supporting myself while living away from home.

You also received the CICL Grant Latta Bonded Scholarship. What did this mean for you?
During university holidays I began working at Coleambally Irrigation, and now work here full time. I loved having the security of knowing that I had a job after I had graduated. I have always had a great interest in water after growing up on an irrigation farm and now get to pursue my passion. This has been great as I have been able to utilise my skills and bring them back to my regional area. It is a fantastic place to work and learn as well as being surrounded by amazing people.

What would you say to a young person from a regional area looking to take the leap into further education?
Follow what you are passionate about and always have an open mind. University can be one of the greatest experiences of your life, and where you meet some of the best people!

Why should these students contact CEF?
CEF offers a range of support both financially and in other ways. CEF provides so many opportunities for students to chase their goals.

I had never been particularly interested in agriculture even though I came from a farm. Once I started university however, I discovered my passion for agriculture and water. This completely changed my view of what I thought I would end up doing.


Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Limited (CICL) is situated in the Murrumbidgee Valley in the NSW Riverina. It is a member owned co-operative which provides irrigation and drainage services to nearly 500 farms owned by 350 businesses and has 295 members.

Work experience for high school students
CICL work with local high schools to support the growth of local young people. Work experience opportunities for high school students are offered across a range of disciplines.

Vacation work for university students
CICL provides support for our young local talent and encourages city-based students to the region by providing vacation work for university students across a range of vocational areas, such as Engineering, Environmental, Information Systems and Business/Finance.

CICL is a strong believer in the education of our youth and providing them with employment opportunities in our rural community. We believe the CICL Grant Latta Bonded Scholarship helps to achieve this while providing CICL with employees that will grow to become our leaders of the future.
CICL CEO, Clifford Ashby

*** Applications for CEF local grants start opening from the 1st July.
You can find your local foundation and check the specific dates HERE.

If you are from the Coleambally area, you can find out more about the Grant Latta Bonded Scholarship by downloading this FLYER.


As a community-based organisation, CEF believes that support offered to students from the people in their towns and regions is one of the best possible ‘lifts’ they can have as they work toward their goals.
How do we know this? Because they tell us so.

Local partnerships like the one between CEF Coleambally-Darlington Point and CICL are vital to ensure that regional youth can get the help they need to get the education they deserve and the opportunities they need to unlock their full potential.

There are various ways you can contribute to a local foundation, either as an organisation or as an individual. You can find our more HERE.

Can’t find a CEF local foundation near you but want to be part of providing such empowering community support? You can establish a new local foundation to assist the regional youth in your area. Read more HERE.

And if you need a little convincing about volunteering for CEF, we have some great information HERE to seal the deal!


Author Nicole

CEF Engagement & Development

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