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Scholarships a combined local effort

Saturday, 14th November, 2020

Former Willyama High School student, Sean Rothery, won the Eureka Benevolent Foundation Scholarship last year. PICTURE: Supplied Former Willyama High School student, Sean Rothery, won the Eureka Benevolent Foundation Scholarship last year. PICTURE: Supplied

By Annette Northey

A total of $63,000 in scholarships for Year 12 Broken Hill students bound for university next year is on offer from the Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF), with applications closing soon.

There are also seperate scholarships for students wishing to undertake vocational training.

Students from Broken Hill and Willyama High Schools are invited to apply via www.cef.org.au/cef-extra before applications close on November 30, and eligible students must demonstrate their social and financial need. 

Those who apply will automatically be considered for a CEF Far West NSW grant.

The scholarships are being offered by three families who are dedicated to the advancement of educational opportunities in the Broken Hill.

The McLean Foundation, The Eureka Benevolent Foundation and the Zagora Family Foundation are offering a three-year scholarship valued at $21,000.

“Securing support from these three families, who have connections to the Broken Hill region, is a great example of seeing the need and doing something about it,” said CEF CEO Juliet Petersen.

“We are consolidating our CEF exclusive scholarships and vocational opportunities under one umbrella, called CEF Extra.

“Scholarships and other CEF financial assistance and support are essential to closing the education participation gap which exists between country and city students, especially for students in such remote areas like Broken Hill,” she said.

The Eureka Benevolent Foundation Chair, Roger Massy-Greene AM, spent many years in Broken Hill and said it “provided a powerful understanding of the value of a university education.” 

Ms Petersen said scholarship recipients from 2019 and 2020 were doing amazingly well despite extremely difficult circumstances this year, having to return home and adjust to the online study environment.

Sean Rothery was a 2020 Eureka Benevolent Foundation-CEF Scholarship recipient. “Knowing I have their support towards achieving my goals gives me confidence and relieves the financial stress,” he said. 

Sean was selected as he had clear goals and demonstrated how determined he was to achieve them. He is studying a Bachelor of Business (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) at the International College of Management in Sydney.

Locally, there are also some smaller scholarships available for those embarking on studies other than university.

Director of Regional Development Australia - Far West NSW, Michael Williams, said last year they set up a local branch - CEF Far West NSW, distributing $19,000 to 6 local students, and this year they have broadened the scope to support local trainee and apprenticeship pathways.

Mr Williams said traditionally the CEF scholarships have been for high school students embarking on university, but wanted to look at how they could support vocational training. 

“The idea being, someone wants to be a chef and needs $300 or $400 for a set of knives, and that then becomes a barrier to him or her becoming a chef,” he said.

Support with finding and applying for scholarships is available through Country Universities Far West. 

“The significant financial assistance available through CEF for Broken Hill students provides a phenomenal opportunity to recipients, and I would encourage all future students to make an application,” said Centre Manager and CEF Far West NSW committee member, Danielle Keenan. 

The local CEF scholarships are available to anybody involved in study, not just school leavers or first year students. It could be a mature-age student and/or a student in their second or third year of study or training. These scholarships are available to students throughout the Far West, including Wilcannia and Menindee.

Ms Keenan said she was available to help students so that they can present information in the application in a way that would give them the best chance of success.

“I am available to help any student applying for any scholarship,” she said.

She invited all those wanting assistance to call her on 0457 327 937.

Mr Williams said anyone wanting more information or assistance about the local grants was welcome to call him on 08 8087 8383.

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