Bank launches scholarship program
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's 2018 Scholarship program is now open. The program is one of the leading privately funded scholarship programs in Australia, and is one of the Bank's most financially and socially significant contributions to education.
In 2017, more than $1 million in funding was granted to students through the scholarship program which incorporates the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Scholarship for rural and regional students, scholarships from participating Community Bank® Boards which for the first time is being extended to TAFE students, and the Rural Bank Agribusiness Scholarship.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chairman, Robert Johanson, is proud of the investment the Bank makes through the Scholarship program, which since launching has funded more than $6.5 million and assisted more than 550 students pursue their higher education dreams.
"Earlier this year, we partnered with the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) to release new research highlighting the education gap between people living in rural and metropolitan areas. The research from the RAI enables regional and rural people to assess their educational outcomes according to where they live. It also provided us with a proof point that the money we gift through our Scholarship program is going to the right people," he said.
The [In]Sight - Human Capital Indexresearch from the RAI highlighted that regional Australia is behind in a number of key areas:
- Based on NAPLAN results, regional areas perform significantly lower than their metropolitan neighbours in both primary and secondary numeracy and literacy;
- The proportion of young regional Australians (aged 15-24) not engaged in either education or employment is 44% higher than metropolitan areas; and
- This divide carries through to post-secondary education too, with 9% fewer Australians in regional areas university qualified
"Our Scholarship program is awarded to first year tertiary students studying at an Australian university or college campus for the first time. It makes a difference to these students by supporting them financially at a time when their main focus should be on their education.
"This financial contribution is just one way in which we invest in our young people, and it is an extension of the significant contribution we make to Australian communities through our Community Bank® branch network. To date, we have given back $183 million nationally, with more than $3 million specifically allocated to education, children and youth projects during the 2016/2017 financial year," Mr Johanson added.
In 2017, 20 year old Tobias Threadgold was awarded the Port Lincoln Community Bank® Scholarship. The scholarship has covered his rent for the majority of the year, allowing him to completely focus on his education.
"I am studying the Bachelor of Veterinary Bioscience which is a full time course that gives entry to the Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine, which graduates practicing Veterinarian's in Australia. Before I started this course, I was quite stressed about the amount of paid work I would need to do to support living away from home," said Mr Threadgold.
"Without the scholarship, all of my spare time would have gone to working to afford my food and accommodation and there would have been no way I could be as deeply involved with the University experience as I am, and I certainly could not have had the time to network with my peers the way I have been over the past year.
"Having the time to make as many friends and meet as many new people as I have through the various clubs and activities I am involved in has made the transition to University so much easier and I don't know how I could have stayed on top of things otherwise," he added.
Applications for the Scholarship program are invited from eligible students, starting their studies in 2018, are now open. Applications close on 29 January 2018 and will be assessed in early February 2018.
For more information about the Bank's Scholarship Program, visit bendigobank.com.au/scholarships.