Scholar Stories

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Scholarship update

In 2021, the Foundation received over 550 applications from motivated girls in need of a scholarship. It has been a very rigorous and difficult task to select the scholarship recipients due to the high number of outstanding applications. Thank you to the judges who were part of this process.

We received applications from students in more than 200 schools located in every state and territory in Australia except the ACT. Of the new students awarded a scholarship:
• 19% are first nations girls
• 31% of the scholarships are based in rural and regional Australia
• 8% have experienced or are experiencing out of home care (foster care)
• 10% of the new girls have a refugee background from a total of 43% of the students who come from a family with non-English speaking background.

Thanks to the generosity of the donors, we are in a position to award 160 new scholarships. That means in 2022 the Harding Miller Education Scholarship Program welcomed the largest group of new students to the program bringing the total scholarship program to more than 510 students, which is a record for us.

All scholarship packs were sent out by early 2022. Each year we are adding options and resources for the students to enable them to further customise their scholarship to support them in the way that meets their needs and helps them achieve their ambitions.

In 2021, we added additional online and in person enrichment activities to the calendar, published a Year 10 subject selection guide, introduced career profiling for Year 11 students and provided a new membership to Study Work Grow career resource to all year groups. It is also the second year accessing Study Skills, JobJump and our HMEF APP. Pascal Press have also donated $60 or $100 vouchers to all of the students for the 2nd consecutive year. These tools are added to our existing scholarship offering which includes a high quality laptop, data, remote IT support, tutoring, a prepaid card for school expenses, online homework help and, very importantly, support from a volunteer personal coach.

Last year also saw some active involvement from our Alumni, including the launch of ARK (Anti-Racism Kit) by Sabina Patawaran who was one of our 2020 graduates from Riverside Girls High School in Sydney. It is a toolkit of strategies and information to help high school students understand racism and combat it within their communities. It is also aimed at creating change within their schools.

We recently held our Scholarship Award ceremonies for our Year 9 scholars. These award ceremonies were held in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. We had some inspiring keynote speakers, the scholars took part in exciting events and workshops and they all met new friends.

Cara Varian, Executive Director of Harding Miller Education Foundation, gave a motivating speech emphasising the importance of scholars making the most of all the opportunities they are offered through their scholarship and encouraging them to create their own peer network by staying in touch and supporting each other.

We are very proud of all our scholars and look forward to supporting them on their journey with the Foundation.

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Teens in Business Awards – Pivoting Pioneer Finalists!!!

Rim Elnabouche a year 12 scholar and Khawlah Albaf a year 10 scholar both recently entered their business ideas and concepts into this year’s Teens in Business Awards. The Teens in Business Awards are run by a coalition of three entrepreneurial education experts – the Young Change Agents, Bop Industries and Tech Girls Movement Foundation. You can find out more by visiting their website here.

Both scholars won a spot on the top 5 finalist list for the Pivoting Pioneer Award. The Pivoting Pioneer Award recognises entrepreneurs who have had to pivot to evolve their business model based on validation or the changing world.

Both scholars were given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to an audience at the x Sparkfest Event on Wednesday 20 October 2021. Unfortunately, neither of them went on to win the award but they both very graciously celebrated the award winner.

Rim’s business is called Build My Event, you can find out more by visiting the website here.

Khawlah’s business is in collaboration with her younger brother and is called BrotherSista Bubble Tea.  You can find out more by visiting the Instagram page here.

We would like to take this opportunity to say congratulations to Rim and Khawlah.  Go girls!!

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Our 2021 Girls Get Their Welcome Packs!

150 Scholarship Welcome Packs

February is always an exciting month because it is when our girls receive their Harding Miller welcome packs including their Toshiba Dynabook laptops! 

"Katie Ambrus was very excited to receive her pack yesterday. She isn’t really a fan of having her photo taken so I took a few candid pics instead. I love the first one as her face is displaying just genuine joy. Thank you very much for making this an easy process. I was expecting to have to help Katie set the computer up but you guys had it all sorted!”
Katie's Teacher
"We have received the awesome laptop and we are so pleased and grateful. We cannot thank the foundation enough."
Mark Quiambai and Livvy Charleston
Livvy is the 2021 scholar in Year 9
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How A Helping Hand Changed My Life

This is Hibba's story of hope

“How a helping hand changed my life”

This is my story.

As a young woman in my family – which was going through a breakdown – life was challenging. I lacked considerable funds to spend on school necessities due to both of my parents being unemployed. My sister and I were previously a victim of a society in Pakistan that criticised girls and their right to education and de-motivated us from gaining further education. Moreover, most of the limited family funds would go towards my grandparents and two brothers who required constant medications for physical and mental difficulties. This meant that my four siblings and I had to be more responsible and miss out on opportunities other students had access to.

According to the Malala Fund, an organisation run by Malala Yousafzai which aims to bring awareness to the social and economic factors that impact girls’ education, there are over 130 million girls worldwide who do have access to any form of education. Although Australia is more privileged, with equal rights to education available to males and females, there are still many barriers preventing girls and women from pursuing and completing their education, which in turn prevents women from feeling empowered in life. These barriers include the cost of school fees, extra activities, uniforms, books and access to technology, difficulty getting to school due to distance or lack of transportation, financial conditions, difficult family situations, having refugee status, or being a victim of situations like domestic violence and abuse.

Another big influence in stopping girls from being able to reach their full potential include factors such as gender discrimination, which label females as primary caretakers that do not carry the responsibility to earn money. This shapes the values in our societies and influences people to pay special attention to men, enabling them greater status over women. Many women, especially in rural areas, have been denied the right to education and have been subjected to very degrading practices and responsibilities.

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Meet Kawana Crowe – a HMEF alumni from 2019

Alumni 2019 - Kawana Crowe