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Katie Walker Outstanding Service Award



Volunteers are the champions of what we do, what we believe in and how we connect with local community to make the greatest impact.

CEF’s network of  local foundations are all run by volunteer committees. Every year volunteers raise local funds, identify and allocate grants to local students to pursue their ambitions. Our CEF recipients know that their foundations have the confidence in them that they will have a path to their career dreams.

“Our volunteers inspire students, communities and each other. I encourage you to celebrate and honour their efforts by nominating outstanding members.”
Katie Walker

Katie Walker, a founding member and board director of Country Education Foundation of Australia, has a true understanding of the vital role volunteers play in providing wrap around support for the local young people seeking further education. This is why Katie is the namesake of the award dedicated to our Volunteers.

This year we are announcing our Katie Walker Outstanding Service Award in Volunteer Week, so we need nominations in by May1st 2022. We only have a few weeks so get nominating now!


Previous Recipients


Margaret Carey – Grenfell


Mary Browne – Great Lakes
Beth Hoskins – Goulburn


Jane McGrath – Griffith
Pierre Gregor – Kangaroo Island
Sam Flanery – Harden
Nic Carmody – Yass


John Trist – Edward River
Chen Gaul – Hastings
Ken Martin – Coleambally/Darlington Point


Anne Hornsey – Kapunda
Charlotte Middleton – Harden
Elaine Clarke – Coleambally/Darlington Point
Penny Sheppard – Coleambally/Darlington Point
Paula Heelan – Clermont
Sue Richards – Great Lakes


Trish McKenzie – Paroo
Patricia Jacka – Wool, Wine & Wheat Clare Valley
Trish Solomon – Braidwood
Virginia Taylor – Coonamble

This passionate CEF volunteer and Macleay Valley CEF founder knows first-hand that education is vital when it comes to unlocking opportunity for regional kids.

“I thought about my life and what a difference this kind of help would have made to me. I saw kids in our region who I knew had the potential to get qualifications if only someone believed in them and could give them a kick start.”

Terry WitchardMacleay Valley Education Foundation

As a former teacher and mum of three Jane knows the value of investing in futures – in a big or small way.

“I think it’s really important for these kids to have a connection. They touch base and let me know what they are doing or I contact them and just catch up.”

“(CEF is so valuable) at taking the pressure off the students. If it means we can help them pay their rent for half a term, that saves them. It also saves them having to commit to a lot of work while they are studying. A lot of them are in self-catered accommodation, they have got to do everything themselves as it is, they have to have a job, and have to study – it’s just really hard. It’s wonderful to be able to help them.”

Jane McGrathGriffith CEF

Anna is young, ambitious and what CEF is all about. She has gone from CEF recipient to committee secretary in a space of eight years.

“I always tell the kids to apply even though you don’t think you’ll get it. We’ve given grants to kids that don’t think they’ll get anything and then they get something from us. It encourages them more, even at uni. It’s great when they get a scholarship and they just weren’t expecting it. It’s not based on how smart you are or how sporty you are – it depends on need and want of education.”

“It gives the student a leg up into their future. And it does create a network between the recipients. That’s one thing I do tell kids when I go into schools – this is a networking opportunity. The networking is the most valuable thing, not the money at all. I’ve got jobs not because of what I know, but who I know.”

Anna IngoldCootamundra and District CEF