Sisters of Charity Foundation Australia

Celebrating our scholarship students at Admiralty House

As COVID-19 restrictions relax we were so excited to hold our first event in a long time. Their Excellencies the Governor-General and Mrs Linda Hurley recently hosted a morning tea at Admiralty House to celebrate the Foundation’s Tertiary Scholarship Program. Below is a transcript of the Governor General’s speech for supporters who could not attend.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Scholarship students and Foundation supporters arrive at Admiralty House.

“Linda and I are delighted to welcome you to Admiralty House. It’s an opportunity for us to thank you for the outstanding work you do in the community, acknowledge the generosity of Foundation supporters, and celebrate the success of the Tertiary Scholarship Program.

In the course of our work, Linda and I meet many people and hear about many issues affecting Australians’ lives.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Lou Colvey and Irene Caldwell-Ash with Sr Cate O'Brien (centre).

Education – specifically, ensuring that all Australians have access to educational opportunities – is one issue I’m particularly passionate about.

According to the latest figures, 46,500 young people are in out-of-home care in Australia. Less than 3% of young people who live in foster care, group homes or out-of-home care arrangements have the opportunity to attend university, compared to approximately 40% of young people in the general population.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

James Phillips, scholarship student Bridgette, Foundation Board member Robert McCormack AM, Ronald Kaiser and scholarship student Andre.

But there’s an added dimension to this imbalance.

For care leavers – and we know about 11,600 leave care each year, many on their 18th birthday – gaining entry into university can be difficult. It’s difficult because many care leavers need to overcome significant social and economic barriers to transition to university. Barriers such as frequent school changes, unstable housing or homelessness, involvement in the youth criminal justice system, and early parenthood. There are others.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Longtime supporter Bill Hayward chats to scholarship student Faraz, who is doing a Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

One of the things I like about the Sisters of Charity Foundation is that it’s an organisation comprised of doers.

The Sisters of Charity Congregation identified the gap in access to education between the out-of-home care cohort and the general population and the Foundation responded.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Scholarship student Bridgette, in her second year of a Bachelor of Business at Western Sydney University, with Foundation Patron the Governor-General of Australia David Hurley.

The Tertiary Scholarship Program has been going for nearly 10 years, empowering dedicated students from out-of-home care backgrounds to transform their lives through education.

The Foundation, through the program, helps with students’ study expenses such as course fees and textbooks. This financial support enables students to focus on their studies and not be burdened with the pressure of simultaneously having to hold down multiple jobs.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Scholarship student Andre with Catherine Rich.

The benefits of education are well known to us all. I’ve said on many occasions over the years – and I will keep saying it – education is transformative.

Linda, as many of you might know, used to be a teacher. I am passionate about education. Between us, we cannot tell you how proud we are to be associated with this Foundation.”

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Virginia Malley with Sr Cate O'Brien.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Foundation Board member Anne Cahill OAM with Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Scholarship student Andre, in his second year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at Western Sydney University, spoke at the gathering about his upbringing and winning the scholarship.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Scholarship student Jasmine has completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Criminology) and begins a Master of Social Work this year.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

John Challis and Patsy Shannon.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Jasmine, Faraz, Foundation CEO Louise Burton, Their Excellencies the Governor-General and Mrs Linda Hurley, Andre and Bridgette at Admiralty House.

Governor General David Hurley celebrates the tertiary scholarship students at Admiralty House

Bridgette with Foundation Chair Juliet Dunworth.

 

How We Help

Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.

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