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Numbers and finance are not everyone’s cup of tea, but for CEF grant and scholarship recipient Jonty Kingham, they are his passion.

Local Foundation:
CEF Orange & Districts

Bachelor of Applied Finance

Macquarie University

Year of Study:
2nd year

Other support:
Findex Community Fund – CEF Scholarship
Macquarie University co-funding


Born and bred in Orange NSW, the ‘colour city’, Jonty grew up with his Mum and younger sister.

He says coming from a single parent family has made it hard to find the funds needed to support his university education, but with his Mum being a careers advisor at one of the local schools, education is a priority.

He is extremely ambitious and determined to succeed, and like so many CEF grant recipients he wants to make a positive change for Australia.

I’m a firm believer that the proper allocation of funds can drive innovation and change within the economy, and I want to be a part of that.

Studying at Macquarie University in Sydney, Jonty is loving his degree, particularly how broad the area of finance is – from personal finances to capital markets and banking.  He says, ‘it’s the core of every business and a massive part of everybody’s life, so I have loved studying it in detail.’

He finds the more he studies and the further along he gets in his degree, his passion for the subject continues to grow, and he can’t wait to begin his career.

His aptitude for the numbers is very apparent. Last year he finished in the top 1% of his cohort, earning him a place on the merit list. Extraordinary results given the year that 2020 was.

Not long after Jonty had ‘left home’ for the first time to start university, COVID lockdowns forced him to move back to Orange and then finally back to Sydney again when restrictions eased. A sadly common story for our rural and regional students last year.

I had just got settled living in Sydney, away from home and then the uni shut down all face-to-face teaching and I was forced to move back home.


Some of the biggest challenges Jonty faces are financial – the costs associated with living in Sydney and with studying at university.

He has received financial support from CEF Orange & Districts, co-funding from education partner Macquarie University and a Findex Community Fund (FCF) – CEF Scholarship. The funds have primarily helped him to pay rent but have also allowed him to buy textbooks which are particularly expensive when studying a degree like Applied Finance.

Jonty says the volunteer members of CEF Orange & Districts have always made it very clear that if he ever needs any extra support, he can reach out to them. ‘They have always been super friendly and helpful,’ he says.

But the biggest challenge? Finding time for and figuring out how to do all those adult-tasks that seem to just be ‘taken care of’ when you live at home.

The biggest challenge was definitely moving away from home. Having to learn and find the time to do my own washing, cooking and cleaning was more of a challenge than I anticipated.

While he may not be giving advice of domestic duties any time soon, he does have the following great advice for regional students considering education after school. “Choose to study something you really enjoy, and don’t worry so much about where it will take you after university. If you have a real passion for your degree, it is easy to do well.”

We asked Jonty where he sees himself ten years from now. Like most, he reminded us nicely that this is ‘a long way away’ but, he says he hopes to still be in the city, working in banking or asset management.

We know that with Jonty’s determination and academic achievements, any company would be lucky to have him.

Since 2018, Findex Community Fund has partnered with CEF to provide $100,000 in support to local foundations and scholarships for rural and regional youth.

Co-funding, like that from Macquarie University, provides additional direct financial support to CEF grant recipients. Read more here.


Author Nicole

CEF Engagement & Development

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