Young Australians living in rural and remote areas are as bright and ambitious as their counterparts living in Australia’s major metropolitan centres. However, the fact that they live outside public transport commuting distance of metropolitan centres causes them great difficulty when they are faced with the decision of what to do with their lives after leaving school.
The reality is that to shape a career or undertake further education, young Australians living in rural and remote areas must often leave home, travel and reside in or closer to metropolitan centres. But sometimes the financial, emotional and social issues involved in relocating from home prevent them from moving and realising their dreams.
The one advantage that young Australians living in rural and remote areas generally do have over their metropolitan counterparts is that they come from caring communities that are ready to lend a hand to support their residents.
This is where the Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEFA) steps in. CEFA is a national not-for-profit organisation which assists rural and remote communities around the country establish local Education Foundations. These local Foundations raise funds that are used to provide 'non-cash' grants to local youth to assist them with their transition from high school into further education, training or vocations.
In 1993 five young school leavers were assisted by the Boorowa community to pursue their careers and studies. Today the number of grants given to school leavers by local Education Foundation communities has grown to more than 800. CEFA, through its ever increasing number of local Education Foundations and Groups, now operates in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory.
To borrow the title of a song by Paul Kelly, “From Little Things ... Big Things Grow”. Please help us grow and spread the reach of CEFA by sharing and encouraging the dreams of the young people in your community.