The Public Education Foundation was established to work collaboratively with schools, communities, business and government to help students achieve their full potential while enhancing the value and reputation of public school education.

We do this is by providing life-changing scholarships for students and by encouraging research in the field of education.

Our scholarship program means donors can give public school students life changing opportunities as a tax-deductible gift. The PEF ensures that at least 90 per cent of all money donated goes directly to scholarships.

The types of scholarships we provide are constantly evolving to meet the needs of students and donors. They are not just about financial payments, focusing instead on the different kinds of support and encouragement that individual students need. The most important thing is that our programs are developed using expert advice, evidence-based and evaluated and are culturally appropriate and best practice.

We are regularly developing new opportunities to meet both the needs of donors and scholarship recipients. Typically we help students from disadvantaged backgrounds to cover the extra ‘costs’ of schooling and have the support they need to succeed. We also provide opportunities for hard working students to extend their talents and pursue their aspirations.

For a full list of scholarships please contact

Below are the scholarships that are currently open.

Frequently Asked Questions 


Read the Scholarship Terms & Conditions


Main Round PEF Scholarships (closing October 31, 2016)

The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Opportunity Scholarship provides support to students with a physical disability to make the transition from high school to tertiary study.

The Harding Miller Foundation Scholarship supports students in early high school to help them achieve their potential.

Susan & Isaac Wakil Foundation Scholarships provides financial assistance to high potential students in Year 12 who intend to continue studying either at TAFE or University after finishing their Higher School Certificate.

The Malala Yousafzai Scholarship supports hard working students in the middle years of secondary school who have a strong belief in the power of education to change lives.

The Friends of Zainab Scholarship helps support year eleven and twelve refugee students through the critical years of their Higher School Certificate and also provides financial assistance for a student’s first two years of full time study.

The Trades & Technology Opportunity Scholarship provides financial support through years eleven and twelve to a student interested in a career in trades or technology.

The Emorgo Scholarship for Music assists a talented musician commencing study at the Conservatorium High School in Sydney.

The Patricia Long Conservatorium High School Scholarship supports a young talented musician in financial need who is attending or enrolling at the Conservatorium High School.

The J Holden Family Trust Scholarships provide support for students commencing at the Conservatorium High School in 2015.

Vorsay Scholarship aims to provide support and encouragement for a public primary school student entering Year 2 in 2017, throughout their time at primary school.

The Capital Chemist College Scholarship supports ACT students in their final year of school at a secondary college.

Other scholarships include:

The Harvard Club of Australia Education Scholarship provides scholarships for Principals of government primary and secondary schools to undertake a short professional education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in the USA.

The Australian Science Olympiad Summer School Scholarship aims to provide eligible students support to attend the prestigious and highly competitive Australian Science Olympiad Summer School.

The Public Education Foundation’s Una May Smith Senior Scholarship aims to support indigenous students to successfully complete schooling and progress to tertiary education and/or training.

The Public Education Foundation’s Una May Smith Scholarship aims to support indigenous students to participate in and successfully complete schooling and progress to tertiary education and/or training.

The Public Education Foundation’s Mamma Lena & Dino Gustin Foundation Scholarship is a prestigious and highly competitive Scholarship which aims to encourage and support students to pursue the study of Italian language.

 Unions NSW Jeff Shaw Memorial Scholarships supports public school students studying curriculum subjects with aspects of unionism such as Economics, Business Studies, Legal Studies and Modern History. The scholarships particularly target students whose personal circumstances are such that without the scholarship they may not have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Other Initiatives:

Essay Competition: The Public Education Foundation Essay Competition is open to NSW year 11 students who attend public schools.  Students need to write a 400 word essay on Why a Good Public Education System Matters in Modern Australia.

Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence: awarding student achievement, teaching excellence, outstanding school initiatives, school achievement and parent of the year awards.