Country Education Foundation (CEF) of Australia is encouraging anyone with a passion for education to volunteer for a local CEF Foundation and make a real difference for rural and regional students in the Eyre Peninsula area.
It is currently working with the Eyre Peninsula Community Foundation (EPCF) to establish CEF Eyre Peninsula as a partnership foundation of the EPCF, to continue delivering on its mission to promote and enable equal access to further education and career opportunities for rural and regional youth.
The Eyre Peninsula Community Foundation carefully manages a growing base of donated funds and works with philanthropic and other partners to ensure the best possible value and impact from each of its community projects, regional student advancement and home hospice services on Eyre Peninsula.
Historically it has funded scholarships for local students for their first year of tertiary studies, but with limited local scholarship support, it decided to investigate a partnership with CEF to expand and future-proof its support for local students.
EPCF Chair Greg Barry said it had already engaged with the local education community and there was strong support to form CEF Eyre Peninsula.
He said some scholarship opportunities are available from Adelaide sources and there was a gap in support for students to study or take up apprenticeships in Eyre Peninsula or pursue a passion at University.
“We have a strong cohort of school-based apprenticeships, on farm and with trades, who eventually have costs with study, travel and resources,” he said.
“Whilst we appear close to Adelaide the access to resources and travel are significant barriers and our experience in giving small grants has made a difference for a small number of scholarship winners. We would like to broaden that support to targeted areas such as aquaculture, agriculture, science and engineering, and for Aboriginal students to access further study.”
“Very few schools on EP have any alumni support program, and we see an opportunity to help schools set up a site-based donation program to support study costs”.
Country Education Foundation is a national for-purpose organisation that helps rural and regional youth aged between 16 and 25 access post-school education, training and employment through grants, scholarships, support services and resources.
Students that live in or attend school in the locations of each local foundation, of which there are currently 45 across Australia, are eligible to apply for grant and scholarship funding that they can put towards various expenses related to their education, such as accommodation and equipment.
Students granted funding by their local foundation are also considered for extra funding through the CEF’s national ‘CEF Extra’ program, which works with university, corporate and philanthropic partners to provide scholarships where students meet a scholarship’s eligibility criteria.
Since its inception in 1993 CEF has awarded over 7000 individual grants and scholarships totalling over $15 million, with over 400 volunteers across its network of local foundations working hard to provide local students the support they need.
CEF CEO Juliet Petersen said establishing the CEF Eyre Peninsula with local volunteers could be the difference between students in the area being able to go to university, TAFE or not.
“Our volunteers are essential to the work of CEF. They are the connection and strength that binds us to community. One can’t help but be motivated and inspired by their passion for improving the lives of the people around them,” Mrs Petersen said.
Locals interested in volunteering are invited to attend a series of information sessions about the CEF and establishing the CEFEP across Eyre Peninsula. Visit www.epcf.com.au to view and register for the sessions by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone contact 0400 685 520
The sessions can also be found at https://cef.org.au/eyre-peninsula-tour-dates/
For more information on the CEF please visit www.cef.org.au or phone 1300 652 144