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Katie Walker Outstanding Service Award



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

Each CEF local foundation is run by a committee of dedicated volunteers. Every year volunteers work with their communities to raise local funds to support local youth in post-school aspirations. They also campaign to identify and allocate those funds to pursue their career aspirations. Our CEF recipients know that their foundations have confidence that they will be supported on their 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, is a founding member and board director of Country Education Foundation of Australia and truly understands of the vital role volunteers play in providing wrap-around support for young rural and regional people seeking further education. This is why Katie is the namesake of the award dedicated to our Volunteers.

Our Katie Walker Outstanding Service Award in Volunteer Week, so we need nominations in by May 8th 2023. We only have a few weeks so nominate now!

The Process

There is no doubt singling out one CEF volunteer for outstanding service is an arduous task. So much so we need a whole panel to navigate the process. This panel is independent and will rely solely on your information. In saying that, the first step is for you to nominate.

Please craft a compelling story with examples and details of their work that will truly demonstrate that outstanding quality. And we need the nomination completed by May 8th 2023.

Previous Recipients


Justin Fleming – Boorowa


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