SCHOLARSHIP Opportunities

2023 Scholarships Awarded

2023 Scholarships opened on 1 December 2022 and closed on 29 January 2023. Twenty-five students across East Gippsland Black Summer Fire impacted communities shared a total pool of $160,500 for post-secondary studies in 2023.  


Scholarship FAQ's

East Gippsland Community Foundation Scholarships are for study beyond secondary school for students impacted by the 2019/2020 bushfires.

There are two types of scholarships offered, differing mainly in the type of course offering.

  1. Vocational education and training (including TAFE and other similar registered training organisations)
  2. Higher education (including universities)

The Scholarships are open to students in the East Gippsland Shire. Priority will be to students who live or lived in townships and communities that were directly impacted by fires, although all students living across the East Gippsland Shire are welcome to apply.

If you have been living away from the family home or have moved with your family  out of East Gipsland Shire on a permanent capacity, then your circumstances do not match the scholarship’s criteria.

If your family home is in a bushfire impacted area and you have been living elsewhere in Australia whilst studying at secondary school (e.g., attending a boarding school in a metropolitan area) or undertaking vocational or tertiary education then you are eligible to apply.

If you have moved out of East Gippsland Shire very recently in order to obtain summer work prior to commencing your studies in 2022, then you may be eligible. We would suggest you email us with your circumstances so we can advise you.

The scholarship supports accommodation costs and/or other expenses directly related to the study of successful applicants (e.g. – rent, course costs, study related materials/equipment, textbooks, tutoring).

Yes. At the end of each funded year, scholarship recipients will be required to provide the East Gippsland Community Foundation with copies of receipts to show that funds were expended on intended purposes.

There is no restriction on the course undertaken. However, the following applies:

  • Vocational education and training must be 6 months or more (based on a full-time study mode)
  • Higher education must be a university course over 1-4 years.
  • The dollar value for a vocational education and training course is $5,000 for a full year or pro rata if the course is between 6 and 12 months. Scholarships are not available for courses shorter than 6 months.
  • The dollar value for a higher education course (i.e., a university course) over 1-4 years is $7,000 per annum for full time study. Note that scholarships paid beyond 1 year will only be made when the student provides proof of successful completion of the year; ongoing enrolment to subsequent years; and acquittal for the course expenditure in line with intended purposes. Subsequent year funding is at the discretion of the East Gippsland Community Foundation.
  • Dollar amounts may be adjusted depending on other scholarships received by the applicant.

Please check the eligibility criteria for the specific scholarship for which you wish to apply.
Please contact the East Gippsland Community Foundation if you are not proposing to study full time.

No. Both vocational education and training and higher education and is supported. The application form is the same for both Scholarships.

An undergraduate bachelor’s degree course provided by an accredited university or college, in an approved Australian course, usually of a 3–4-year duration.

Courses provided by an un-registered training organisation are not eligible. Courses shorter than 6 months full time are not eligible.

  • The vocational education and training Scholarships are to assist students undertaking certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree level studies at TAFE or a similar registered training organisation.
  • The higher education Scholarships are to assist students undertaking a bachelor’s degree level.

The university or college must be an accredited and registered tertiary provider.

If you are applying for a vocational education and training Scholarship for study at TAFE or a similar registered training organisation, in a course other than a bachelor’s degree, any prior attendance at with a registered provider does not affect your eligibility.

To be eligible for our higher education (university) scholarships for study at bachelor’s degree level you must be either a first-time tertiary student; entering the second or third year of a course you started in 2020 or 2021; or a mature aged student.

The East Gippsland Community Foundation Scholarship for 2019/2020 bushfire impacted students are designed for recent school leavers who have successfully completed year 12 since the Black Summer Fires of 2019/2020 and also open to mature aged students in 2023.

  • Scholarships for vocational education and training (i.e., TAFE or similar), in a course other than bachelor’s degree, support full-time and part-time study.
    The course must be greater than 6 months duration.
  • Higher education (i.e., university) Scholarships to support study at bachelor’s degree level the course you intend to study must be classified as full time by your university or college.

We realise that the financial reality means that most students do have to work whilst studying. If you are applying for a scholarship to support study for a bachelor’s degree, then you must contact East Gippsland Community Foundation if you do not plan to study full time.

If you are applying for a scholarship for vocational education and training (such as study at TAFE or similar registered training provider in a course other than a bachelor’s degree) then combining full-time work and studying in block release is acceptable.

If you plan to work full-time and study  in block release (such as night school or full-time block release) for a bachelor’s degree then you should contact East Gippsland Community Foundation  for advice prior to applying for a scholarship.

Yes, provided that the overseas study is a component of an approved Australian course, and the approved Australian course must give credit for the overseas study.

Unfortunately, no, as the scholarship is only for undergraduate students.

Initially, yes. Depending on your academic performance, the scholarship may be renewed to cover a second or subsequent years. Proof of academic performance is required to be considered for on-going funding, as is an acquittal of major items of expenditure at year end.

The number and value of the awards are at the discretion of the East Gippsland Community Foundation from year to year.

No. We would suggest you apply for the 2024 program, as the 2023 scholarship does require study to commence in first semester 2023.

If the scholarships run in 2024 then, yes, depending on the criteria for 2024 scholarships.

Unfortunately, no, we cannot “hold over” funds. If you are awarded a scholarship and subsequently defer, you must notify us immediately.

The East Gippsland Community Foundation does not offer taxation advice regarding the scholarship, so we suggest that you obtain your own professional advice.

You must notify us immediately if you do not continue your study once your funds are received and your contract is signed.  Call 0499 241 917 to discuss.

The Application Process

If you decide to apply:

Applications can only be submitted via this website.

When can I apply?

From 1 December to January – each year.

Is this a strict deadline?

Yes, it is.

What if I am having difficulty with the questions?

If you are having trouble, please email us at and we will try to assist you.

What happens if my application is not submitted by the closing date?

Only fully submitted applications can be considered. Incomplete applications are unable to be assessed.

What type of referee do you need?

We are looking for someone who knows you and your family’s situation well, for example one of your teachers or a health professional.

How do I complete an acquittal at year end?

The acquittal will be made online by logging back into your original application. Please save your username and password for this purpose.

How will I know if my application has been received?

All applicants will receive an email acknowledging receipt of their application.

Who will assess my application?

Applications and the information they contain are provided to, and assessed by Scholarship Selection committee which will comprise of Directors of the East Gippsland Community Foundation.

When are applications assessed?

Applications will be assessed in February. We know that everyone is keen to hear about how they went, and the Foundation is keen to evaluate these for everyone as soon as possible.

How will I know whether my application has been successful?

All students will be advised by email of the outcome of their application. East Gippsland Community Foundation Scholarships are funded from the East Gippsland Australian Disaster Relief Trust (the Trust), the East Gippsland Community Foundation is the trustee.

Do I need to let you know of other scholarships I have applied for, even if I am still waiting to hear if I have been successful or not?

Yes, we do ask for this information. Other scholarships may not necessarily preclude you from the scholarship, but if you are successful in receiving major assistance then we must take this into account when assessing your application. This will ensure scholarships are awarded fair and equitable across the region.

Scholarship Payments

How are the scholarship funds paid?

Scholarship payments are paid directly to the student to be used for payment of accommodation costs and/or other expenses directly related to the study of successful applicants.

What happens if my first year of study does not go well?

Please let us know. We reserve the right to withdraw any scholarship funding, but we will of course attempt to work with you and your education provider ahead of this course of action.

What if I quit my studies before the end of the year?

Please let us know. As a recipient of the scholarship, we do require notification of any change in your circumstances, such as the cessation of your study. We reserve the right to withdraw funding but appreciate your honesty and prompt advice, so we will endeavour to discuss all options with you.

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