'If words were banknotes'
The Batemans Bay Youth Foundation management committee has made presentations to the Year 12s of our four schools, and on February 6, 2020, grants will be given to worthy students who wish to head to university.
Our seven eligible grantees who started their first semester this year scored five High Distinctions, 10 Distinctions, 12 Credits, 1 Pass, and no Fails. Jessica and Peta Halliburton, twin sisters from Long Beach, scored 4 High Distinctions and 4 Distinctions between them, a marvellous start to their career!
Regarding the new financial package being discussed with universities by the federal government: for the past two years, there has been no financing from government. Now, it is proposed that a payment will be made for every student who achieves his/her tertiary qualification and succeeds in getting a job. The concept has merit, because it puts the universities on their toes to perform. However, I think it will be hard to monitor which students gain employment - it would be an administrative nightmare. Worse, it postpones government financial support for three years or more, depending on the degree course.
Over the years, our three local universities have rebated the foundation for up to 40 per cent of grants paid to two or three students we have sent to them. It has not amounted to much money, because there is a cap on the number of students rebated, and most go to other universities with which the foundation has no such agreement. However, the rebate has been welcome. That support may discontinue, if universities have to wait to receive their government grants.
The foundation has been established for 25 years. It has always managed to give at least 12 grants per year, (12 x $3,500 = $42,000), even after the trials of the 2008 GFC. It pains me to say that only four businesses and 20 individuals are regular financial donors to the Foundation, which has given grants to more than 200 young people.
I regularly hear compliments on the work the Foundation does. I wish words were banknotes!
Students: apply by November 30. Good luck with the HSC.
Peter Wood OAM
Chairman, Batemans Bay Youth Foundation
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