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Gilgandra’s Lachlan Riley has been awarded the 2023 Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand – Country Education Foundation of Australia (CAANZ – CEF) Scholarship, which he will put towards his studies in accounting.

Local Foundation:
CEF Gilgandra

Course Studying:
Bachelor of Accounting

Australian National University

Mr Riley is completing the first of a three-year Bachelor of Accounting degree at the Australian National University.


He was awarded a $1000 grant by CEF Gilgandra to help with his study costs earlier this year, before being awarded the CAANZ – CEF scholarship valued at $21,000 over three years.


Mr Riley said the funding had helped alleviate the financial pressure caused by the costs of his education.

“The generous scholarships allowed me to purchase a new laptop, as my old laptop was only lasting two hours on a full battery, which was inconvenient to use on a full day of university where lecture halls and some other rooms had minimal or no power outlets,” he said.


“I have also used the funds to aid my cost-of-living expenses in Canberra such as rent and groceries. Hence the financial assistance has allowed me to focus more on my studies by reducing the financial stresses of living on campus.”

If I had not received the funds, I wouldn’t have a new laptop and would have been working more frequently with increased stress by not having time to focus on my studies.

– Lachlan Riley

Mr Riley has got off to a great start with his studies, achieving a distinction in Business Reporting and Analysis, which he said was his best achievement to date.


He said CEF Gilgandra Chair Joan Staggs had been a great help to him in getting his grant funding, as well as his high school year advisor Breanna Patton, who assisted him with writing his grant application.


Mrs Staggs said Lachlan’s impressive attention to detail made him a worthy recipient of his funding.


“He studied business in year 11 and 12 and he put a case study into practice and started a car detailing business that he had made a business plan for,” she said.

He is a highly motivated, hardworking and empathetic young man.

Joan Staggs, CEF Gilgandra Chair

She thanked CEF Australia and CAANZ for Mr Riley’s co-funding, labelling him as a “number one candidate”.


The CAANZ – CEF Scholarship is part CEF Australia’s CEF Extra program, which provides additional support to eligible students who have already been awarded a grant by their local CEF foundation.


The CAANZ – CEF Scholarship offers successful applicants $21,000 over three years, which they can put towards their university studies in a CAANZ-approved tertiary degree, such as Accounting.


Kristen Wydell, General Manager, CA ANZ said it was pleasing to continue working with CEF to support young rural students achieve a tertiary education.


“Chartered Accountants come from all backgrounds, and it is this diversity in the profession that enables us to support all our clients and employers.  We are pleased to support CEF to help reduce the financial hardship for rural students seeking tertiary education,” they said.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) represents more than 135,000 financial professionals, supporting them to make a difference to the businesses, organisations and communities in which they work and live.

Joshua Matic

Author Joshua Matic

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