Five scholarship student guests – all who have faced enormous challenges in their upbringings – had the opportunity to speak with Sisters and long-time supporters about their studies and hopes for the future.
His Excellency the Governor-General David Hurley gave a speech about the transformative power of education, and his wife Mrs Linda Hurley delighted attendees with a special song she’d written about the history of the Sisters of Charity in Australia.
Doctor of Medicine student Baneen spoke about how receiving the scholarship has let her focus on extra-curricular activities that build her resume, like travelling to Bangladesh to complete a summer elective, and an internship with the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner.
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) graduate Nathan also spoke about what he’s achieved in his professional life as a Mining Engineer – such as completing his graduate program in half the allotted time and going on to study for a range of certifications.
Nathan completed his university coursework during COVID-19 and was unable to properly mark the occasion with a graduation ceremony. Guests took the opportunity to celebrate his achievements with a big round of applause.
“In 2021 we enhanced the program to offer our students closer support,” said Foundation CEO Louise Burton in her speech. “We don’t just hand over funds, we develop relationships with them and become part of their support networks, if that’s what they desire.”
18 students have now graduated with a university degree or TAFE diploma since the program launched in 2012. There are an additional 30 students currently studying at educational institutions around the country.
More about the Tertiary Scholarship Program for students with an out-of-home care background
Out-of-home care is a statutory care arrangement for children under 18 who can’t live safely at home with their birth families due to chronic child abuse or neglect.
The state government becomes their legal guardian and places the child with an alternate caregiver: a foster carer, relative, or someone in their social network. They might also live in a group home under the care of paid staff, or independently in a private rental situation.
Only an estimated 1% of young adults from out-of-home care backgrounds are able to attend university, compared to around 40% of young adults in the general population.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship Program provides financial support so recipients can afford university or TAFE study expenses (course fees; textbooks; technology; and attending workshops, networking events and internships) as well as the cost of living on their own with no parental support. The scholarship lets them focus on their studies, rather than having to hold down multiple jobs to survive.
Main photo from left: Nga Kim, Baneen, Nathan, Mrs Linda Hurley and the Governor-General David Hurley, Andre, Cleo and Louise Burton.
Explore by Topic
asylum seekers & refugees babies & children Community Care Community Grants COVID-19 disability domestic violence elderly employment assistance environment events First Nations food relief Gifts in Wills grief health care homelessness housing human trafficking legal support media mental health mentoring modern slavery news out-of-home care Providence House rural & regional scholarships substance abuse tax tips unemployment volunteering young people
How We Help
Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.