The Public Education Foundation’s Connected Communities Scholarship supports at-need students enrolled in NSW Connected Communities high schools outside of the Sydney metropolitan area.  (Please see below for a full list of eligible schools)

The intent of the scholarship is to support essential school/education expenses, particularly focusing on computers, sports and the creative and performing arts.  The scholarship is aimed at students in need at the listed schools who have a passion for learning, technology, sport or creative and performing arts.

Each scholarship provides $2,000 per year for 2 years (total $4,000) for students entering years 8 – 11 in 2023, or a single year support for students entering year 12 in 2023.  This funding is aimed at assisting the students in pursuing their passion.

The scholarship is to cover educational expenses such as:

  • Incidental fees (eg. Text book hiring, costs associated with a specialised subject etc)
  • Uniforms and school shoes (including school sports clothing)
  • Stationery and general office items and equipment
  • Text books
  • Laptop or iPads or other similar devices
  • Printers
  • Internet connection for study at home
  • School excursions and school camps
  • Representative sports carnivals
  • Creative and performing arts related expenses such as costumes, instruments, travel etc
  • Costs associated with work experience linked to VET subjects
  • Furniture for study such as desk, chair, lamp etc
  • Face to face or online tutoring

If a student leaves public school before the end of Year 12, the scholarship will lapse.  Please note – if a student’s attendance rate falls below an acceptable level at any time during the duration of the scholarship, the scholarship may be withdrawn.  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


  • Currently enrolled in Year 7 – 11 (in 2022) in one of the following schools:
    • Boggabilla Central School, Bourke High School, Bowraville Central School, Brewarrina Central School, Coomealla High School, Coonamble High School, Kempsey High School, Melville High School, Menindee Central School, Moree Secondary College – Albert St Campus, Moree Secondary College – Carol Ave Campus, Narooma High School, Shoalhaven High School, Taree High School, Walgett Community College, Wilcannia Central School
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident


  • Potential to do well in their chosen field
  • Positive attitude towards school and high attendance rates
  • Disadvantage currently preventing the student from realising potential and/or successfully completing their studies
  • Demonstrate they participate in school life

Selection Process

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 will be notified in December 2022.

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

 How To Apply

All applications for the Connected Communities Scholarship must be submitted via the Foundation’s online portal. You will need to sign up for a PEF-Apply 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
    • 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 (maximum 150 words)
  • {For current Year 10 11 applicants} A brief explanation of how your planned Year 11 and 12 subject selection and/or work experience will assist you in your future study and/or work goals(maximum 250 words)
  • A brief statement on how the scholarship funds would be used (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.


Our online applications are a mandatory part of the PEF process, however we are aware that this can cause additional challenges for schools assisting with scholarship applications. We have developed a paper application form which will hopefully assist with this process. Please note that the application must still be completed online but the following statements may be uploaded as handwritten documents if required:

  • Personal Reference
  • Signed Terms and Conditions

Please make sure they are legible.

If you require a paper version of this application, please contact PEF on

Submitting Your Application

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 must be submitted by 11.59pm on Tuesday 13 September 2022. 

For Further Information

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