The Public Education Foundation’s 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.

The scholarships are funded by Unions NSW which represents more than 600,000 union members. As the peak body for the state’s trade unions, Unions NSW campaigns to improve the conditions of workers, including ensuring that workers receive decent wages, fair conditions and a safe workplace.

The scholarships are named in memory of the Honourable Jeff Shaw QC who began his career as an industrial officer of one of NSW’s largest unions, the Public Sector Association and later became the NSW Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations (1995-2000).  He also served as a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.  His career was defined by a tireless work ethic which focused on the defence of workers and their rights to fair wages, a safe workplace and freedom from discrimination.  A former student of Hunters Hill High School, The Hon. Jeff Shaw was also a staunch defender of and advocate for public education in NSW.

Each scholarship will provide financial support of $2,500 in Year 12 to help with resources and services relevant to improving their educational outcomes.

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rate falls below an acceptable level at any time during the duration of the scholarship, the scholarship may be withdrawn.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 NSW Public School
  • Currently in Year 11 (in 2022)
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Currently studying Economics, Business Studies, Legal Studies or Modern History


  • Evidence of interest in one or more of the designated subjects, such as Economics, Business Studies, Legal Studies and Modern History
  • Evidence of how you/your family demonstrate the values of the Union Movement
  • 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 HSC 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, a representative from Unions NSW 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.


All applications for the Unions NSW Jeff Shaw 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.

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
    • 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 original 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 describing how you/your family demonstrate the values of the Union Movement (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 HSC (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 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, or that you endorse the 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.


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