The Public Education Foundation’s Una May Smith Scholarship supports Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to participate in and successfully complete schooling and progress to tertiary education and/or training.

The scholarship is named in honour of Una May Smith of Coogee. Miss Una May Smith was an Aboriginal woman whose career in education had involvement with La Perouse Public School over a number of years. Miss Smith generously bequeathed part of her estate for the establishment of this scholarship.

The recipient will receive the scholarship for as long as they remain enrolled in a public school or tertiary institution, shows reasonable academic progress and continues to meet the conditions of the scholarship. The scholarship can be tailored over time to meet the specific circumstances, interests, and learning needs of the recipient. It will be shaped by the needs of the student with support and input from relevant parties which may include from the School Principal, the Foundation and/or the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.

The scholarship will provide financial support to cover education expenses for the student up to the following amounts:

Year 1 $2,000
Years 2 – 5 $1,000
Year 6 $2,000
Year 7 $3,000
Years 8 – 9 $2,000
Years 10 – 12 $4,000
Tertiary Education (maximum 4 years) $5,000

The scholarship is to cover educational expenses such as:

  • Face to face or online tutoring
  • 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
  • Costs associated with work experience linked to VET subjects
  • Furniture for study such as desk, chair, lamp etc

If a student leaves public school before the end of Year 12, the scholarship will lapse. If the student does not continue to tertiary education, no other support will be provided. 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, click here to read the scholarship terms and conditions 


  • Attends a NSW Public School
  • Enrolled in Year 1 in 2018
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident


  • Potential to do well at school and be able to demonstrate that the scholarship will make a significant contribution to reaching that potential
  • Have positive attitude towards school
  • Experiencing financial hardship by the parent or caregiver of the child
  • Evidence or testimony from the School Principal of high potential
  • Agree to the terms and conditions of the scholarship, including providing feedback to the Public Education Foundation and at the completion of each academic year during the scholarship period.


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, the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and independent experts. After considering all applications, the selection panel will recommend the selected applicant for the approval of the Public Education Foundation’s Board.

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 Una May Smith 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 this application you should compile the following information about the Applicant (the student) ready to submit:

  • Applicant details including:
    • full name
    • gender
    • date of birth
    • phone number
    • address
    • email
  • Applicant’s residence status
  • Applicant’s parent/guardian details (at least one but up to two)
    • name
    • phone number
    • relationship to student
    • email address
  • Applicant’s 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 the applicant and their family:
    • highest education qualification of immediate family
    • whether they are Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or Pacific or South Sea Islander
    • if they are from a Non-English Speaking Background
    • country of origin of the Applicant and parents
    • which languages they speak and are spoken at home
    • whether the Applicant has been in out-of-home care
    • socio-economic background
    • how the Applicant found out about the scholarship
  • A statement from the Applicant’s parent/carer outlining why the Applicant is a suitable candidate for this scholarship and how they meet each of the selection criteria.  (maximum 400 words)
  • A copy of all the pages of the Applicant’s most recent school report ready to upload
  • A personal reference from an Aboriginal Community Member (PDF or Word format, maximum 400 words)
  • A reference from the Applicant’s Principal (PDF or Word format, maximum 400 words)

Note for Principals: Please be aware that your reference 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.


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 draft 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:

  • Parent/Guardian statement
  • Reference from Aboriginal Community member
  • Signed Terms and Conditions

Please make sure they are legible.

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


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

Applications must be submitted by 11.59pm on Tuesday 24 October 2017. 


Call the Public Education Foundation on 02 9266 8452 or email us at

Apply online now
Download an info pack