On the evening of the 8th February, the Community Foundation were delighted to celebrate the transition of a group of young people from our district into the next stage of their education. As part of this, awards totalling more than $20,000 were given to twenty recipients. Four students were also accepted into a Mentoring Program and two into a Rural Youth Leadership Program funded by the Community Foundation but operated in partnership with YouThrive Victoria.
What is the Community Foundation’s Educational Support Fund?
The Education Support Fund was launched in 2013 to grant financial support to students (including mature students) transitioning into third level education.
Ruth Rogan, Executive Officer for the Community Foundation noted that
‘Rural students face many hurdles in transitioning to third level, but finances present one of the most challenging,’ explained Ruth Rogan, Executive Officer of the Community Foundation. ‘Before you even take your seat on the first day at Uni or TAFE, it’s likely that you’ll have spent more than $5,000 to cover books, stationery, laptop and your accommodation bond.’
The Mirboo North & District Community Bank® have been a strong supporter of this fund since its creation through annual donations. This year we are very pleased to announce that their commitment to supporting locals undertaking higher education has become ‘perpetual’ through the creation of a new named sub-fund within the Community Foundation: the Mirboo North & District Community Bank® and Support Co-operative Fund.
The Community Bank has donated almost $160,000 to create this perpetual fund, which means that each year into the future the earnings from the investment of the $160,000 will go into the Education Support Fund and support its mandate. Like the Community Foundation itself, the Community Bank’s support for local students will now be future proofed.
This is a fantastic example of the resilience of this town and its community: the origin of this donation lies in fact with the Co-operative organisation that led to the setting up of the Community Bank® under the Bendigo Bank franchise. It was the surplus funds from the winding up of this Co-operative which has ultimately led to the creation of this new perpetual fund.
The Awards evening
Diana Mueller, Chair of our Grants and Allocations committee started the evening by announcing the 20 recipients of the 2019 Education Support Fund awards worth over $20,000.
The next part of the evening focused on the Community Foundation’s partnership with YouThrive Victoria to give some students access to Leadership and Mentoring Programs run by Youthrive. We were joined by Dr. Maryann Brown, Executive Officer of YouThrive, who shared some insights from the alumni of her programs into how to best prepare for and manage this exciting transition.
‘Youthrive Victoria is a charity with the vision that rural and regional communities will thrive with the strong input from skilled, resilient and motivated young people,’ explained Maryann. ‘It has therefore developed programs which assist young rural Victorians in developing their personal, professional and leadership capabilities.’
The Community Foundation announced it would support two students to do both the Young Rural Leaders Program and the Mentoring Program: Lucinda Palmer and Taliah McCormack.
Youthrive also announced it would support an additional two students to take part in their Mentoring Program and that Sebastian Reville Gent and Rhianne Cameron were slected.
To round out the evening, Hayden Jones spoke about his first year at University. Hayden was a recipient of an ESF award this time last year for his Bachelor of Nursing at Monash University. He spoke frankly about the highs and lows of student life and gave some practical (and entertaining) tips for the students just about to head off.
Recipients of the 2019 Education Support Fund awards.
Bonnie-Rose Waters Certificate 111 in Individual Support
Bridie Huston Diploma of Beauty Therapy
Callum Porch Science/Biomedical Science
Charlie Chila Education Primary & Secondary
Connor White Bachelor of Science
Daina Howard Real Estate Agents Representative
Felicity Poland Teaching -Secondary/ Arts
Finley Hughes Accountancy
Isabella Papa Diploma of Nursing
Jack Burgess-Pincini Bachelor of Science
Jazmin Carroll Diploma of Community Service
Joshua Wright Primary and Secondary Education (Honours)
Lucinda Palmer Bachelor of Science Advanced – Research
Nichola Cummaudo Primary and Secondary Education (Honours)
Rachael Blackshaw Exercise & Sports Science/Business
Rhianne Cameron Bachelor of Nursing
Samantha Gardiner Bachelor of Nursing
Sebastian Reville Bachelor of Arts
Tahlia McCormack Foundation Access Studies Program
Tylah Wilkins Diploma of Tertiary Studies - Business