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Bendigo Bank scholarship program reaches new heights

23 April 2024 |Education
Unprecedented demand as applications surge and successful candidates announced

With the University and TAFE academic years in full swing, dozens of bright-eyed students have recently learned they have been awarded a Bendigo and Adelaide Bank funded scholarship, with a record $1.3 million worth of scholarships granted this year.

The Bank today announced 227 students from around Australia will benefit from a range of different scholarships to help them make the transition from secondary to tertiary education.

This record-breaking result comes after a surge in scholarship applications for the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank program, with the Bank experiencing a staggering 62% increase in applications, reflecting the growing enthusiasm for opportunities in further education. Particularly noteworthy is the growing support for TAFE scholarships, showing the substantial demand for vocational education opportunities, particularly in regional and rural areas.

Seventy-five Community Bank companies have contributed to the range of scholarships for the 2024 year, including grants to secondary and primary school students. To date, the Community Bank networks have funded close to $900,000 to 190 students.

Now in its 17th year, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Scholarship Program, run by the Bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation, provides students with the opportunity to access a range of scholarships - up to the value of $8,000 - to help ease the financial burden associated with the transition to tertiary education.

Focussed on supporting regional, rural, Indigenous, and agricultural students, the program has been running since 2007, supporting more than 1900 students to the value of $13.3 million.

The scholarships can be used by recipients to help finance the cost of travel, accommodation, tutoring, course materials or study equipment. The scholarships include:

  • Robert Johanson Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Board Scholarship: $8,000 per year for two years.
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank scholarship for regional and rural students: 12 scholarships of $6500 per student, per year, for two years.
  • Bendigo Bank Indigenous scholarship: Four scholarships of $6500 per student, per year, for two years for those studying at either university or TAFE.
  • Rural Bank scholarship: eight scholarships, (including two Indigenous scholarships) of $6,000 per student, per year, for two years – students must demonstrate a desire to contribute to the Australian agricultural sector.
  • Community Bank Scholarships: Variety of scholarships on offer from different Community Banks focusing on university, TAFE, and secondary school study.
  • Alexander and Bridget Jones Montmorency Secondary College Scholarship: Scholarship for two graduates of Montmorency Secondary College studying full-time at The University of Melbourne in 2024.

Interim Chair of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Vicki Carter wished the successful applicants luck as they embark on a new chapter of their education.

“Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Scholarship Program is one of the longest and most successful programs of its kind in Australia,” Ms Carter said.

“The Program aims to alleviate the financial burden associated with the transition to tertiary education, ensuring these bright minds can focus on their studies and future careers.

“The winners represent a diverse array of academic pursuits, spanning health, business, education, science, the arts, and services.

“Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is immensely proud to contribute to the development of professionals in these vital fields, fostering a well-rounded and skilled workforce for the future, especially in regional and rural Australia.

“As we celebrate the achievements of these scholarship recipients, we also recognise the unwavering support from our Community Bank partners and their commitment to education and its enduring impact. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank remains dedicated to empowering individuals to pursue their academic dreams, and we look forward to hearing more about the accomplishments of these students in the years to come,” Ms Carter concluded.

Moo Sala Win Shew (pictured below), from Mount Gambier in South Australia, has been awarded one of the Bank’s Regional and Rural Scholarships having only moved to Australia four years ago after spending 16 years living in a refugee camp in Thailand.

“As a person who was born in a refugee camp and grew up there, opportunity to study was limited,” Moo Sala said.

“Moving to Australia was a whole new world for me and I was afforded a lot more opportunity when it came to my education. Whilst in my English Intensive Program, my teacher organised work experience for me to explore what I want to do for my future career. After doing work experience in clinic and a hospital, all I wanted to be was a nurse or to work in the healthcare industry.

“I’ve recently started my Bachelor of Public Health at the University of South Australia in Adelaide and this scholarship will be a tremendous help in my transition from Mt Gambier to the city,” Moo Sala concluded.

For more information on the program, please visit:

About the Community Enterprise Foundation:

As the philanthropic arm of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, the foundation plays a pivotal role in bringing the Bendigo Bank’s Social Purpose to life. The foundation utilises its expertise in community development, resilience and recovery to support our partners to facilitate outcomes in their communities which enable them to be connected, build financial and digital inclusion and develop climate and disaster resilience. The foundation believes that when all these elements are present, communities and the individuals who live within them will be more prosperous.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this nation and the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present as it is their knowledge and experience that holds the key to the success of future generations.

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