Seventeen Narrabri Shire students have embarked on their career training pathways with a valuable kick start from the Country Education Foundation of the Namoi.

The students don’t need a push – they are all motivated and enthusiastic about their future, and have welcomed grants from the foundation to ease the financial burdens as they set off to university and other institutions.

The 2021 beneficiaries of grants met foundation committee members and supporting sponsors at a presentation function at Narrabri RSL Club on Thursday night. Foundation vice chair Donna McKinstry announced the awards.

This year the foundation has funded students to the tune of $27,000, committee chair Trudy Staines told the audience.

Narrabri Shire school leavers are eligible to apply for grants from the foundation to help defray their costs as they embark on their career studies through apprenticeships, traineeships or university. So far, since 2002, the foundation has distributed grants totalling $325,000 to students from Narrabri Shire.

The money is used for things like accommodation, travel, tuition, books, laptops – the kinds of costs which make the start of the education journey so expensive.

All monies which fund the foundation grants to students and trainees come from community contributions.

Former Country Education Foundation of the Namoi grantees Jesse Bennett and April Squire addressed the audience at the 2021 awards event to express their appreciation to the Foundation and share some of their insights and experiences with the 2021 grantees.

Country Universities Centre manager Cathy Walters presented a comprehensive overview of the CUC and its offering to local students.

The Country Education Foundation of the Namoi Foundation supports a diverse range of education and career pursuits.

The Foundation does not provide cash grants directly to the recipients but reimburses students for a pre-agreed expense or pays the goods and services providers directly.

The Foundation receives generous contributions from supporters across the community, businesses and individuals, such as the William McIlrath Foundation, which has contributed $22,000 to be distributed over three years, Whitehaven Coal which made a donation of $10,000, funding five students this year, family sponsorships such as the V and P Miller grant, and donations from individuals, community organisations and businesses of all kinds, many of these ongoing.

The 2021 Country Education Foundation of the Namoi grant recipients, their study institutions and courses: Emma Young, Charles Sturt University, Port Macquarie, Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, Meagan Dampney, NSW University Bachelor of Engineering, (specialising in mechatronics) Breeana Smith, Newcastle University, Bachelor of Primary Teaching (deferred), Alyssa Ford, University of Canberra, Bachelor of Health Science, Caitlyn Ford, UNE, Bachelor of Primary Education, Jacob Sunderland, Newcastle University, Bachelor of Communications, (Journalism), Beth Steel, Newcastle University, Bachelor of Secondary Education, (History), Georgina Rutter, Charles Sturt University, Port Macquarie, Bachelor of Nuclear Imaging, Courtney Rutter, Charles Sturt University, Port Macquarie, Bachelor of Nursing, Andrew Coleman, Sydney Acting School, Advanced Diploma Acting, Mackenzie Weaver, Charles Sturt University, Port Macquarie, Bachelor of Education, (History) Mackenzie Russell, Australian Catholic University, Bachelor of Nursing/ Bachelor of Psychology, Alex Loder, Newcastle University, Bachelor of Mechatronics/ Bachelor of Engineering (deferred), Sara Charles, UNE, Bachelor of Rural Science, Reece Anderson, Newcastle University, Bachelor of Software Engineering (deferred) Alice Haire, Macquarie University, Bachelor of Arts (Film Production) Noah Platt, Newcastle University, Bachelor of Education (Primary).

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