Narrabri Shire and Roma, Queensland, rugby communities came together at Dangar Park on Saturday, March 14 for the inaugural Narrabri Santos Community Cup charity day before COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

The beneficiary of the day was the Country Education Foundation of the Namoi, an organisation which helps the Narrabri shire’s school leavers and trainees set out on their career pathways. CEFN chair Trudy Staines outlined the role of the organisation at the rugby day.

“We really appreciate and are honoured that the Narrabri Blue Boars have chosen us to be their charity today,” said Ms Staines.

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“We are a small committee of eight volunteers from various sectors of the community who are not only concerned but are passionate about the young people of our community and helping them foster a future through education and career pathways whether that is through apprenticeships, traineeships, certificates or university.

“The CEFN is funded through private and corporate donations and local fundraising events, such as today, we don’t receive government funding.

“Originally established as the Narrabri Education Foundation in 2002 to support students who attended Narrabri High School, we graduated to the CEFN and since 2016 now support students who attend Wee Waa High school.

“As you know for young Australians living in rural and remote areas, the substantially greater costs of accessing further education and vocation opportunities is often prohibitive.

“Many of the young people the CEFN provides financial assistance and encouragement to would not have been able to achieve their goals due to financial constraints. It helps relieve the financial strain on them and their families and conveys a strong message of encouragement from the community. It gives a strong message that their community believes in them and is supportive of their aspirations.

“This is a tremendous boost to a young person’s confidence, right when they need it the most.”

How the CEFN works.

“The student applies, around August/September, we interview discuss and decided as a committee and then we award grants ranging from $400 to $3000.

“Students don’t receive cash grants, rather the CEFN pays the goods and service providers or reimburses students for agreed costs that are directly linked to them achieving their goals.”

Since it was launched the Foundation has helped hundreds of students with, collectively, many thousands of dollars in funding.

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