The Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEFA) is a national not-for-profit organisation that provides rural communities with the know-how and support required to establish their own local Education Foundations. These local Foundations in turn provide grants to local youth who are leaving school and need a helping hand in order to make the transition into further education or their chosen vocation a successful one.
How do we do this? For new communities we provide a tried and tested model that includes our Establishment & Procedures Manual and our constitution which each local Education Foundation must adhere to.
CEFA is funded through private and corporate philanthropy and receives no government grant funding. We have tax deductibility status that all of our member communities can use. We also provide up to $10,000 in funding over the first three years to assist each local Foundation become established. We do this by matching locally raised funds. In the first year, we match dollar for dollar up to $5,000, in the second we match fifty cents in the dollar up to $3,000 and in the third year, twenty-five cents in the dollar up to $2,000.
We also have an increasing number of tertiary Education Partners: education institutions that provide additional grants to recipients attending these universities or colleges. Additional grants can range from a $500 book voucher to a dollar for dollar grant match, meaning in some instances that a local grant of $1,500 can become $3,000 once the Education Partner's additional grant is factored in.
CEFA is governed by a Board of Directors and is committed to good governance. One integral aspect of this is that we require our member communities to only provide grants in one of two ways: by reimbursing a student for a pre-agreed expense, or by paying a goods or services provider for something that is directly related to the recipient achieving their goal. This could include tools of trade, course fees, text books or a fuel card that enables a distance education student to attend face-to-face classes.
Grants are open to young people finishing high school from Years 10, 11 and 12 and also to students aged 21 years and under who have deferred. Each local Education Foundation is different. Some accept applications from students who have deferred for only one year, while for others there is a two year deferral limit. To find out more, find your local Education Foundation and make an enquiry.