The Public Education Foundation’s Acacia Program Scholarship provides financial assistance and mentoring/career advice to high potential students, in need, attending schools in specific school regions in NSW, ACT, Victoria and WA. (See basic eligibility section for complete list of eligible schools).

The Acacia Program scholarship was designed to assist high potential students in financial need who may otherwise not have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Up to 10 scholarships are available for eligible students currently enrolled in Year 9 in one of the listed schools.

The scholarship has been established to enable alumni of Australian public schools to give back to their school region, and to public education more broadly, through scholarships, mentoring and advocacy. The scholarships aims to highlight to students the diversity of careers and possibilities available to them through the Australians who sponsor the award and have access to this network. We hope to show students:

  • Examples of people who have succeeded who come from where they come from, who they can relate to and see themselves in; and
  • Examples of people who are involved in a wide variety of careers and who are doing what they are interested in doing, to show them a path into the career they want.

Each scholarship consists of a bursary of $1,000 per year for three years (total $3,000) to support the students’ studies whilst enrolled in high school, plus mentoring/career information opportunities with Acacia Fellow.

The scholarship is to cover educational expenses such as:

  • Laptop, iPad or similar device
  • Subject or study related software, printer, stationary and textbooks
  • Uniforms and equipment
  • Excursions and camps
  • Curricular and extra-curricular learning opportunities
  • Furniture for study such as desk, chair, lamp etc
  • Home wifi for study
  • Face-To-Face or Online Tutoring

If a student leaves public high school before completion of the scholarship period, the scholarship will lapse. Any unspent monies at the end of the scholarship period must be refunded to the Public Education Foundation scholarship fund.

Before applying for this scholarship, please ensure that you read the scholarship terms and conditions available on our website.


  • High potential student
  • Attends a public high school in the ACT;
    Alfred Deakin High School, Amaroo School, Belconnen High School, Black Mountain School, Calwell High School, Campbell High School, Canberra High School, Caroline Chisolm School, Gold Creek School, Harrison School, University of Canberra High School, Kaleen, Kingsford Smith School, Lanyon High School, Lyneham High School, Melba Copland Secondary School, Melrose High School, Mount Stromlo High School, Namadgi School, Telopea Park School, The Woden School, Wanniassa School
  • OR attends a public high school in the Shoalhaven Shire region (NSW);
    Bombaderry High School, Kiama High School, Nowra High School, Shoalhaven High School, Ulladulla High School, Vincentia High School
  • OR attends a public high school in the Sutherland Shire region (NSW);
    Caringbah High School, Cronulla High School, Endeavour Sports High School, Engadine High School, Gymea Technology High School, Heathcote High School, Kirrawee High School, Lucas Heights Community School, Menai High School, Port Hacking High School, Sylvania High School, The Jannali High School, Woolooware High School
  • OR attends a public high school in the Sunraysia Secondary school region, (VIC);
    Chaffey Secondary College, Irymple High School, Merbein P10 College, Red Cliffs Secondary College
  • OR attends a public high school in the Wimmera Shire region, (VIC);
    Dimboola Memorial Secondary College, Horsham College, Murtoa College, Stawell Secondary College
  • OR attends a public high school in the South West region, (WA);
    Australind Senior High School, Boyup Brook District High School, Bridgetown High School, Bunbury Senior High School, Busselton Senior High School, Cape Naturaliste College, Collie Senior High School, Dalyellup College, Donnybrook District High School, Harvey Senior High School, Manjimup Senior High School,
    Margaret River Senior High School, Nannup District High School, Newtown Moore Senior High School, Pemberton District High School
  • OR attends a public high school in the Mudgee Shire region, (NSW);
    Gulgong High School, Kandos High School, Mudgee High School
  • Currently in Year 9 (in 2020)
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident


  • Experiencing equity, social or physical hardship(s) that may prevent them from otherwise successfully completing school study or training
  • Displays potential to do well at school
  • Has a positive attitude to school and a high attendance rate
  • Intention to complete their HSC/VCE/WACE and continue to tertiary education
  • Demonstrate they participate in school life
  • Demonstrate they contribute in the community and/or in extracurricular activities


A selection panel will review all scholarship applications and assess them against the selection criteria. The selection panel will include representatives of the Public Education Foundation and independent experts. After considering all applications, the selection panel will recommend the selected applicants for the approval of the Public Education Foundation’s Board. The successful applicant(s) will be notified in December 2020.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome via email. If successful, the scholarship recipient’s school principal will also receive notification directly.


To apply for the Acacia Program Scholarship, students can access the link to the online portal via the Foundation’s website –

Please note that all applications are now received via the Foundation’s online portal. You will need to sign up for a FluidReview account to access the form.
Prior to starting your application, you should compile the following information ready to submit:

  • Applicant details including:
    • full name
    • gender
    • date of birth
    • phone number
    • address
    • email (please ensure you nominate an email account you regularly access)
  • Residence status (copy of residency Visa or Citizenship certificate is a requirement)
  • When you came to Australia (if applicable)
  • Number of years in formal education before coming to Australia (if applicable)
  • Parent/guardian details (at least one but up to two)
    • name
    • phone number
    • relationship to student
    • email address
  • School details:
    • name of school
    • address
    • principal name
    • email
  • School Point of Contact – the person at the school who you would like correspondence sent to – name, phone number and email
  • Basic information about you / your family:
    • whether you are Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or Pacific or South Sea Islander
    • who is the primary caregiver at home
    • highest education qualification of your immediate family
    • if you are from a Non-English-Speaking Background
    • country of origin of your parents and yourself
    • which languages you speak and are spoken at home
    • if you have a diagnosed disability or learning difficulty
    • whether you have been in out-of-home care
    • socio-economic background
    • how you found out about the scholarship
  • A statement outlining why you are a suitable candidate for this scholarship and how you meet each of the selection criteria. (Maximum 400 words)
  • A brief outline of your plans after you have completed your HSC/VCE/WACE (maximum 150 words)
  • Briefly outline how you feel you meet the criteria in relation to financial need/disadvantage (maximum 150 words)
  • A copy of all pages of your most recent school report ready to upload
  • A personal reference from someone who knows you. It could be a teacher, coach, family friend or an employer. (PDF or Word format, maximum 400 words)
  • A supporting statement from your Principal which addresses the selection criteria (the applicant must initiate a request via the online application to the Principal. This will result in an email being sent to the Principal asking them to complete a statement of support online)

Note for Principals: Please be aware that your statement is a critical component of the application form and your feedback is given considerable weight in the process of panel deliberations. The panels are looking for feedback that goes well beyond simple confirmation that the student is enrolled in your school.


Once you have finalised your application and all elements are complete (including references and supporting statements as required) you can submit it for review.

Applications for the 2020 scholarships (to support students in 2021) are closed.  Applications to support students from 2022 will open in July 2021.

For Further Information

Call the Public Education Foundation on 02 7814 2806 or email us at

We also encourage you to visit our website to learn more about the Foundation and the work that we do –

Download an info pack