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Community & Business

7 February, 2021

Local students benefit from scholarships

The Gilgandra and District Education Foundation (GDEF) has once again aided local students in their journeys into tertiary education.

By Telden Nelson

The Gilgandra and District Education Foundation (GDEF) have once again helped local students take on tertiary study. Pictured in front are the 2020 recipients Cassie Nolan, Georgia Horan, Aysha Tobin and Mitchell Gaff. In the backrow are GDEF treasurer Bryson Luff, chairperson Joan Staggs and secretary Laura Nelson. Photo supplied by Margaret Windeyer.

Since the GDEF's inception in 2002, they have donated $155,000 to students in the Gilgandra region. The local chapter of the foundation is a part of a national not-for-profit organisation. Four Gilgandra High School students will receive financial assistance this year. Chairperson of the GDEF Joan Staggs said that recipients could use their funds for a number of purposes.

“Funding is for essentials and their courses. In the case of TAFE or university students it can be for course costs, essentials like electronic devices, textbooks, accommodation and relocation costs,” said Mrs Staggs.

“Students pay up front and on presentation of the receipt are then reimbursed by the foundation. This system has been most successful in assisting students.”

Mrs Staggs said the success of the foundation and its donations to students was greatly aided by the assistance provided by the Gilgandra and District Community Bank Bendigo Bank. Particularly during times of hardship when asking for donations from community members may not be appropriate or possible. “The generosity of the Community Bank has been greatly appreciated by the local committee as we have been reluctant to ask for help from local residents due to the drought and then COVID-19 restrictions,” said the chairperson.

A fundraiser in conjunction with the bank will be organised for some time later this year. The first of the recipients, Cassie Nolan said that she was “very grateful” to receive a scholarship for the GDEF and that she will put it towards to relocating to Bathurst to study nursing at Charles Sturt University.

Another recipient, Georgia Horan will be attending the University of NSW to study a bachelor of media, public relations and advertising. She will be putting the funds towards textbooks and an iPad to use in lectures.

The third recipient Mitchell Gaff will be putting the funds towards travel to university at UNSW in Canberra. He will be studying aeronautical engineering which he chose because the course has an honours component that allows graduates to be accredited with Engineering Australia. The final recipient, Aysha Tobin will use the funding for accommodation while she studies nursing at the University of Newcastle.

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