Despite the drought – and perhaps because of it – the regional Victorian town of Warracknabeal is the state’s first to offer further education access and opportunities via the national Country Education Foundation of Australia.
Find out more: Applications are now open for education grant support from CEF of Warracknabeal.
The CEF of Warracknabeal is formed with the financial support of Rotary clubs of Geelong and Essendon, as well as funding from Birchip Cropping Group; with volunteer support from Warracknabeal Secondary College as well as Yarriambiack Shire Council CEO Jessie Holmes.
CEF of Warracknabeal founder Tony Gregson said the metropolitan Rotary clubs look to support their country friends suffering during drought; believing in Country Education Foundation of Australia’s vision of fostering the further education, career and personal development opportunities for rural and regional Australian youth.
“These Rotary clubs, as well as local members, are happy to support the CEF principles. Rotary are strong supporters of youth-orientated initiatives and developing leaders for the next generation,” Mr Gregson said.
With this financial support, CEF of Warracknabeal will be offering up to $6000 worth of education grants in the next year to local students from the Yarriambiack Shire to assist with their further education journey.
Country Education Foundation of Australia CEO, Wendy Cohen said the new committee brings together experience from the community’s local government, education and business sector to activate and inspire young people in their area with access to further education.
“Drought continues to take a tremendous toll in communities where agriculture defines their lives, ways and means; and I commend Tony and his colleagues for their hard work and vision so far,” said Ms Cohen.
“The financial backing of these larger metropolitan Melbourne Rotary clubs means the newly formed Country Education Foundation of Warracknabeal can sustainably harness the motivation and energy of volunteers and be delivering support for young students in a matter of months.”
“Establishing a Victorian presence aligns with our overall goals as we look to grow the impact of CEF’s work throughout rural and regional Australia and support thousands of young students each year to launch into meaningful careers.”
This builds upon the hard work of hundreds of volunteers in 44 similar Country Education Foundations throughout New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Central Australia in the last 25 years.
Ms Cohen aspires for this first Victorian Country Education Foundation to pave the way for CEF to empower more rural and regional communities and boost established close-working relationships with larger Melbourne education institutions including LaTrobe and Swinburne universities.