A DECADE of helping young Upper Hunter residents with their tertiary studies will continue, courtesy of the Upper Hunter Education Fund.
For the past nine years, the trust has assisted youngsters who live in, and around, the towns of Murrurundi, Scone, Aberdeen, Muswellbrook and Denman.
And, applications for 2018 will close at the end of this month.
“This is our 10th year of providing [monetary] support,” Upper Hunter Education Fund president Andrew White said.
“Thanks to the many sponsors, we’ve been able to help more than 200 young people achieve their study dreams to the tune of $350,000 [in total].
“The focus of our assistance is financial need.
“We aim to level the playing field so that tertiary education is equally available to all.
“These grants are open to anyone seeking to undertake post school education of any type next year, whether it be a practical vocational program or a university degree.
“Applications are determined based on merit and needs.
“But, they must be submitted by the end of November.”
The Upper Hunter Education Fund was established in April 2008, with the committee consisting of a broad cross-section of the community including education, insurance, agricultural, hospitality, wine industry, finance, legal and mining.
“Our members provide invaluable mentoring to our young students, too, to help them through the maze of getting established and their ‘feet under the desk’ at their new educational establishment,” Mr White said.
“For young Australians living in rural and regional areas, the cost of accessing tertiary education and vocational opportunities is often prohibitive.
“The majority of the people to whom we offer assistance and encouragement would not have been able to achieve their goals without the Upper Hunter Education Fund [due to financial constraints].
“For the rest, it goes some way to relieving the financial strain on themselves and their families.
“We usually award between $1000 and $3000 to successful candidates.”
The Upper Hunter Education Fund also performs the function of trustee of the Phipps Charitable Trust.
“Gilbert Phipps was a long-serving medical doctor in Muswellbrook,” Mr White said.
“When Dr Phipps died he left a sum of money to provide scholarships for young people from Muswellbrook High School to attend university.
“However, when the initial trustees of the Phipps [Charitable] Trust retired, the UHEF was appointed in their place to manage the trust and award scholarships to the students [of Muswellbrook High School].
“Our funds for awards are entirely separate from the Phipps Charitable Trust and they [unlike Phipps] are not limited to Muswellbrook High School pupils.”
Forms are available at the website www.upperhuntereducation.com.au
Applications can be sent to Andrew White, president, Upper Hunter Education Fund, 57 Brook Street, Muswellbrook.