Club Cowra

Open Roads For Rural And Regional Youth With Matches Donations This End Of Financial Year

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

CEF alumnus Lachie Barrett. Donate to them today to support country youth from Cowra.

Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) has announced a matched giving campaign this End of Financial Year and is calling on the public to donate and take advantage of this opportunity to help open roads for rural and regional youth.

Gifts made during the campaign will support national programs and resources to empower regional youth to unlock their full potential, with all donations to CEF matched up to a total of $500,000 until 30th June.

In 2023, approximately 82% of CEF supported students did not receive financial support from family and 40% were ineligible or do not receive government assistance. 46% were working more than 15 hours a week often in addition to full-time study just to make ends meet. CEF Chief Executive Officer Wendy Mason explains, “This demonstrates a clear gap in the assistance regional young people are receiving to undertake post-school education and why the work of CEF is so critical, particularly as the cost of living continues to rise.”

“This matched giving campaign is an incredible opportunity to raise much needed funds to support our national operations, to grow the impact we have on the lives of our rural and regional youth, and in closing the education participation gap that exists between them and their metropolitan peers,” said Ms. Mason.

CEF alumnus Lachie Barrett grew up on a farming property, 2 hours north of Dubbo, NSW. Thanks to support from Coonamble District Education Foundation and CEF, he was able to complete a Bachelor of Education, with First Class Honours, from the University of Sydney.

He now finds himself living, working and volunteering with the local CEF in Orange, NSW. “Growing up in a regional setting, I understand the challenges, such as financial and social barriers, that students face when contemplating post-school education. Support from organisations like CEF can transform these obstacles into opportunities for growth,” said Mr. Barrett.

CEF is a national for-purpose organisation committed to enabling equal access to further education and career opportunities for rural and regional youth irrespective of background, circumstances or location through community-based encouragement and financial assistance.

“We believe wholeheartedly in the potential of our regional and rural young people, like Lachie, and we need the help of the community to provide them with the support they need to achieve their dreams,” said Ms. Mason.

The organisation has 46 volunteer-run local foundations across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory, including here in Cowra.

For more information on the CEF 2024 End of Financial Year Matched Giving Campaign and to donate visit

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