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Country Education Foundation’s local foundations across the country are run by community volunteers all with one thing in common – a passion for seeing rural and regional youth succeed.

Our Mission:

to foster the further education, career and personal development opportunities of rural and regional youth, through community-based encouragement and financial assistance.

Where it all began

It all started in Boorowa, NSW, in 1993, when a group of community members came together to raise funds for students who couldn’t afford post-school training or further education.

The idea soon spread and similar foundations were formed in Yass, Cowra and Harden. CEF has since grown into a family of more than 40 local education foundations across New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

CEF Executive Board members Nick Burton Taylor AM and Julia Burton Taylor OAM were the founding members of the organisation. Their belief in the power of local communities to change lives by providing further education, training and career opportunities is contagious and inspirational.

Local students, local foundations

The CEF approach to locally-based fundraising, grants and support is a proven success.

Independent research shows that for every dollar invested in our work a return of $4.99 is created in social value – changing the lives of young Australians, their families and their communities.

Together our foundations have awarded over 8,000 individual grants and scholarships to help young Australians become nurses, teachers, plumbers, accountants, pilots, builders, scientists, hairdressers and engineers. We can’t wait to support a future Australian Prime Minister!

In an area like this where there is not a university close by the students face huge costs that those in city areas don't necessarily have if they are living at home and going to university, TAFE or to work.

Jonathan Forrest

In an area such as the Monaro, we're reliant on the rural economy and tourism. A poor run of years means parents struggle to send their kids off
to further education.

Jonathan Forrest

For Jonathan Forrest from Country Education Foundation of Snowy Monaro,
a local CEF offers crucial support to regional and rural families.

Jono believes that extra bit of help and support to get them
off to uni or TAFE makes all the difference.

Help where its needed most

Country Education Foundation grants are equity based. Our collective mission is to see all young rural and regional Australians achieve their dreams through supported access to further education, training and jobs.

Local foundations engage in fundraising to provide local grants and scholarships to youth in their areas. This financial support ranges from $500 to $5,000 per student, per year and helps buy textbooks and laptops for uni students, purchase tools and equipment for apprentices and assists rural and regional youth to relocate to take up career opportunities.

CEF provides a lot more than just grants. We also support and mentor students throughout their studies or apprenticeships. For most students, this community support is just as important as the financial assistance. It’s about knowing that their community is backing them and believes in their aspirations.

CEF’s national office, based in Orange, NSW, provides financial support, training and resources to this family of local foundations through seed funding, student support resources, volunteer resources, governance and compliance advice, accounting, technology, insurances, event management and advocacy.

We also partner with educational institutions and corporate and philanthropic organisations across the country to provide additional funding and support to CEF local grant and scholarship recipients.

CEF has tax deductibility 1 status (DGR1), so all donations over $2 are fully tax deductible.

Good governance

CEF is governed by a Board of Directors and is committed to good governance. Our grants and scholarships are non-cash.  We reimburse students for a pre-agreed receipted expense, or we pay a goods or services provider directly for expenses related to a recipient achieving their goal.

Our impact

We have awarded more than 8,000 individual grants and scholarships to help rural and regional young Australians on their way to further education, training and careers. See our annual Impact Reports here.

CEF Student Impact Reports
Impact Reports
CEF Reports and Financials
Finance Reports
CEF Annual Reviews
Annual Reviews

Support us

Our important work relies on corporate and private philanthropy and donations.

You can directly contribute to the futures of young Australians by making a tax deductible donation