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Education

LIFE-CHANGING UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS OPENING DOORS FOR STUDENTS IN NEED

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A group of people for university scholarship.

LIFE-CHANGING UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS OPENING DOORS FOR STUDENTS IN NEED

 

Applications are now open for the Greater Charitable Foundation Equity Scholarship program, which is clearing the path to higher education for students wishing to study at the University of Newcastle.

The new Greater Charitable Foundation Equity Scholarship program will award a total of five scholars up to $30,000 each over a maximum of three years as part of the Foundation’s $150,000 partnership with the University of Newcastle, announced in June.

Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, said the scholarships will support students from financially disadvantaged backgrounds by connecting them with educational experiences that might otherwise be out of reach.

“Each of the five scholarships is valued up to $30,000 and will provide both relief for students, as well as skills that can be carried throughout life,” Ms Long said.

“While people associate Greater Charitable Foundation with finance, we want students to know that these scholarships are not just for Commerce or Finance students. Whether you’re aiming to study Arts, Civil Engineering, Coastal and Marine Science – there is a long list of eligible undergraduate programs.

“These scholarships are less about the discipline students are studying, and more about the student themselves, ensuring they not only survive but thrive, by focussing on their studies, as well as enjoying the full fruits of the university experience.

“Our hope is that these scholarships will not only relieve some of the immediate financial burden, allowing students to get a foot in the door, but will help them to build the skills and experience needed to keep the doors of opportunity opening throughout their lives.”

University of Newcastle student Grace Walker understands how beneficial an academic scholarship can be to progressing studies and alleviating financial stress, after being awarded the University’s Shaping Futures scholarship in 2023, which is a separate but similar program to assist undergraduates to support studies alongside educational disadvantages.

A group of people for university scholarships.

(L-R) UON Vice -Chancellor Mark Hoffman, UON scholarship recipient Grace Walker, Greater Charitable Foundation CEO Anne Long

Ms Walker said her scholarship allowed her to dedicate more time to her education without worrying about making ends meet and encouraged any eligible students to apply for the first round of the Greater Charitable Foundation Equity Scholarship.

“I vividly remember the moment that I found out that I was a scholarship recipient. I was actually on placement with an often-wandering mind to how on earth I was going to be able to pay for the huge out of school hours and day-care fees I was accruing. I immediately started crying with relief, and felt a huge weight lifted,” Ms Walker said.

“This scholarship has allowed me to continue study and complete my placement hours without the stress of where I would find money to pay for bills, care and food.

“It has meant my children continue to witness me working hard to build a beautiful life for them and it has allowed me to see that, despite hardship, I am capable and the effort I put into my studies doesn’t go unnoticed.”

University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Mark Hoffman said scholarships play an important role in ensuring University has a place for everyone.

“Investing in education through equity scholarships is an investment in the creation of a brighter future,” Professor Hoffman said.

“By extending a helping hand to students grappling with financial adversity, including those hailing from rural, regional and remote corners, we cultivate not only knowledge but resilience, diversity and the unwavering spirit of progress.

“The University of Newcastle is honoured to be partnering with the Greater Charitable Foundation as we make a lasting impact in our region and beyond.”

Applications for the Greater Charitable Foundation Equity Scholarship will close on February 24, 2024. For more information about the scholarships, eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit: Greater Charitable Foundation Equity Scholarship.

 

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Education

JUSTINE DELIVERS FOR NORTH COAST STUDENTS

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Cutting HECS debts

JUSTINE DELIVERS FOR NORTH COAST STUDENTS

 

Local Labor MP Justine Elliot announced that the Albanese Labor Government will deliver two new major initiatives, which will support current and former higher education students on the North Coast.

“Both these major changes will make a big difference to locals on the North Coast, those with HECS debts, and those undertaking mandatory work placements for teaching, nursing, midwifery, and social work qualifications.

“Labor is making our higher education system work better for students and work better for our economy.

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“As your strong voice in the Albanese Government, I’m proud to be delivering this important support for locals,” Justine said.

1.CUTTING STUDENT DEBT 

“The first major change is cutting the student debt of more than three million Australians, including nearly 20,000 here on the North Coast.

“This will wipe around $3 billion in student debt nationally, easing the pressure on workers and students across the country.

“The Government will cap the HELP indexation rate to whatever is lower out of Consumer Price Index or the Wage Price Index with effect from 1 June 2023, and backdate the relief to 1 June last year.

“This will benefit every person with a HELP debt, fixing the issue of last year’s spike in the CPI indexation rate of 7.1 per cent and preventing growth in debt from outpacing wages in the future.

“This will make the system fairer and benefit all Australians with a HELP debt.

“I know many locals with HECS debts are impacted by the indexation increases. Labor listens, and Labor acts.

“By backdating this reform to last year, we’re making sure that those with student loans affected by last year’s jump in indexation get this important cost-of-living relief.

“This continues our work to ease cost of living pressures and reduce and remove financial barriers to education and training,” Justine said.

For individual information see the HELP Indexation Credit Estimator: education.gov.au/HELPestimator.

COST-OF-LIVING SUPPORT FOR TEACHING, NURSING AND SOCIAL WORK STUDENTS

“The second initiative is establishing a Commonwealth Prac Payment to support students undertaking mandatory work placements for teaching, nursing, midwifery, and social work qualifications.

“The payment will provide around 68,000 higher education students and over 5,000 VET students each year with $319.50 per week during their clinical and professional placement periods.

“This payment will provide cost-of-living relief for many students. It will be means-tested and available from 1 July 2025 and will be in addition to any income support a student may also receive.

“The Albanese Labor Government is addressing the care and teaching workforce skills shortages, while assisting more students to commence and complete their studies.

“Some students say prac means giving up their part-time job, and that they don’t have the money to pay the bills.

“This will help encourage more students to study teaching, nursing, and social work, all of which are critical to our local workforce and community.

“This will give people who have signed up to do some of the most important jobs in this country a bit of extra help to get the qualifications they need,” Justine said.

 

For more Education news, click here.

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Education

National Walk Safely to School Day Turns 25

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National Walk Safely to School Day Turns 25

 

As National Walk Safely to School Day approaches on Friday, 10 May 2024, primary school-aged children across Australia are encouraged to lace up their shoes for a walk towards a healthier future. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this initiative, championed by the Pedestrian Council of Australia, highlights the myriad benefits of walking and other forms of active transportation, particularly to and from school.

This annual event not only emphasises physical health but also aims to improve road safety, reduce environmental impact, and promote the use of public transport to lessen car dependency near schools. Harold Scruby, Chairman and CEO of the Pedestrian Council of Australia, emphasises the importance of adult supervision for children under 10 when crossing the street, reinforcing the safety aspect of the campaign.

“Walk Safely to School Day is a great opportunity to teach our kids about the benefits of physical activity,” said Scruby. He also pointed to the worrying statistics of childhood obesity, which affects one in four children at critical levels across the nation, according to the latest ABS National Health Survey results from 2017-18. “The best form of physical activity for all Australians is walking regularly. Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day,” he added.

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The day is not just about walking; it also encourages schools and parent groups to host healthy breakfast events to start the day nutritiously. This initiative supports the dual goals of fostering healthful eating habits and providing social interaction within the school community.

As the event marks a significant milestone, schools across Australia are gearing up to participate more actively than ever. Parents, teachers, and caregivers are encouraged to get involved, not only to support their children but also to take part in making walking a regular part of their daily routine.

This initiative plays a crucial role in mitigating traffic congestion around school areas, promoting environmental stewardship, and fostering a sense of community. Everyone in the community is invited to support the initiative, helping to instil healthy habits in children that can lead to lifelong benefits.

For more information on how to participate in National Walk Safely to School Day, visit the Pedestrian Council of Australia’s website or contact your local school to see what activities are planned for the day. Join the movement on 10 May and help make a difference in the lives of young Australians.

 

For more Education news, click here.

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Ballina News

$500,000 Upgrade Set to Enhance Nursing Training at TAFE NSW Ballina

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TAFE Ballina Nursing Facilities

$500,000 Upgrade Set to Enhance Nursing Training at TAFE NSW Ballina

 

The NSW Government is ramping up its efforts to meet the increasing demand for healthcare professionals in the Northern Rivers region with a significant $500,000 investment to upgrade and expand the nursing training facilities at TAFE NSW Ballina.

This funding boost aims to address the anticipated national shortfall of 123,000 nurses by 2030 by enhancing educational infrastructure and capacity.

The enhancements at TAFE Ballina Nursing Facilities include the addition of a state-of-the-art simulated nursing ward and a dedicated home care training room. These new facilities are designed to offer nursing students a more immersive and practical learning experience, preparing them for the realities of healthcare environments.

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Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan, who recently visited the campus, emphasised the importance of the upgrade. “This investment will greatly enhance the training opportunities for our students, bringing simulation learning experiences up to the best practice standards,” said Minister Whan.

He noted that the upgrades would allow the campus to accommodate an additional 32 students per week across various nursing programs, including Certificates III and IV in Health Services Assistance and the Diploma of Nursing.

The project is set to begin construction in May and is expected to be completed by August 2024. The upgrades are not only a response to the growing healthcare needs but also a strategic move to support the largest employment sector in the Ballina Shire.

“The healthcare and social assistance sector is the largest employer in the region, and we are committed to investing in facilities, training, and industry-standard equipment at TAFE NSW to meet this workforce demand,” Minister Whan added.

He also highlighted that the investment would prepare local healthcare students for success and support the region’s critical skills needs.

This initiative is part of a broader commitment by the NSW Government to enhance the infrastructure at TAFE NSW, ensuring that it continues to deliver high standards of education and training to future generations of healthcare workers in the region.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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