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.