The Public Education Foundation’s Lilly Murphy Memorial Scholarship supports public school students who are passionate about equity and social justice. The scholarship targets students whose personal circumstances are such that without the scholarship they may not have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The scholarship is named in memory of Lilly Murphy, who was studying Year 12 studies at Princes Hill Secondary College when she became ill with cancer and tragically passed away in November 2021.

Lilly was passionately involved in school and community activities around climate action, women’s rights, LGBTQI+ equality, First Nations sovereignty and worker rights. This scholarship has been established in honour of Lilly, her courage and her commitment to equity and social justice.

Each scholarship will provide financial support of $1,250 per year for years 11 and year 12 (total scholarship value is $2,500 per student) to support the students’ studies whilst enrolled in high school.  Students are also offered free access to Studiosity and mentoring.

The scholarship is to cover educational expenses such as:

  • Incidental fees (eg. Text book hiring, costs associated with a specialised subject etc)
  • Uniforms and equipment
  • Stationery and general office items and equipment
  • Text books
  • Laptop, iPad or other similar device
  • Subject/study related software
  • Printer
  • Internet connection for study at home
  • School excursions and school camps
  • 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rate falls below an acceptable level at any time during the duration of the scholarship, the scholarship may be withdrawn.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.


  • Attends a Victorian Public School
  • Currently in Year 10 (in 2024)
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident


  • Evidence of a strong commitment to equity and social justice
  • Potential to do well at school and be able to demonstrate that the scholarship will make a significant contribution to reaching that potential
  • Have a positive attitude towards school and high rates of attendance
  • Intention to complete their VCE
  • 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, a representative from the education sector 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 2024.

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


All applications for the Lilly Murphy Memorial 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.  Note – ALL sections of the application, INCLUDING the Principals Supporting Statement must be completed before the application can be submitted.

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)
  • 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
    • your mob/family/traditional owner/language group
    • if you are from a Non-English-Speaking Background
    • country of original of your parents and yourself
    • which languages you speak and are spoken at home
    • how many adults live on your home
    • how many of those adults are working
    • who is the primary caregiver at home
    • how many other school aged (or younger) children live in your house
    • highest education qualification of your immediate family
    • 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 describing your strong commitment to equity and social justice (maximum 150 words)
  • 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 VCE (maximum 150 words)
  • A brief explanation of how your Year 11/12 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 a teacher/counsellor/wellbeing officer from your school. (PDF or Word format, maximum 400 words). Please advise your referee that our Panels are not in a position to contact them for additional information.  The reference should provide all information they feel is relevant.
  • 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). This statement must be completed by your Principal  before the application can be submitted.

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, or that you endorse the application. Generic responses, or copy/paste responses from the applicants or referees statements WILL disadvantage the applicant.


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 10th September 2024. 


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