The Public Education Foundation’s Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Opportunity Scholarship provides financial assistance to students who have a physical disability to enable them to reach their academic potential.

Since its establishment by Eliza Hall in 1912, the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust have been helping many Australians in need. During that time many tens of thousands of Australians and their families suffering the effects of poverty have been assisted in surviving a crisis. Many others have been helped to reach their full potential.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Opportunity Scholarship will provide a student with a physical disability transition into tertiary education to study for a degree.  Please note – this scholarship is for students studying on-campus only.  Students planning to study via on-line mode are ineligible to apply. (Flexibility will be allowed during ongoing restrictions around COVID).

Up to five scholarships are available to support students in 2023, each valued at up to $10,000.  Each scholarship will be split into two equal payments to be made after census day each semester of the 2023 university calendar.

The scholarship is to cover educational expenses such as:

  • Laptop, iPad or similar device to undertake/enhance your studies
  • Assistive technologies required to undertake/enhance your studies
  • Subject or study related software, printer, stationery and textbooks
  • Mobility scooter or other disability aids to assist in travelling to/from and moving around campus
  • Home wifi for study
  • Furniture for study (desk, lamp, chair etc)
  • Face-To-Face Tutoring or Online Tutoring
  • Transport costs for travel to/from University

The scholarship funds cannot be used for your Fees/HECS debt.  Use of funds towards accommodation must also be limited to a maximum of 40%.

If a student discontinues their tertiary education, or moves to on-line study only, 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.


  • Has a permanent physical disability
  • Attends a Public School in the ACT, NSW, QLD or VIC
  • Currently in Year 12 and intending to apply for university in 2023
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident


  • Evidence that current study and academic records are appropriate to the nominated University study
  • Potential to do well at university and determination to complete the nominated study
  • Able to demonstrate that the scholarship will make a significant contribution to reaching their potential
  • Experiencing financial disadvantage that may prevent the student from successfully completing their desired studies
  • Positive attitude towards schooling
  • Participation in school life
  • Contributes 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 Walter & Eliza Hall Trust and independent education experts. After considering all applications, the selection panel will recommend the selected applicant for the approval of the Public Education Foundation’s Board.  Successful applicants will be notified in December 2021.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome in December. If successful, the scholarship recipient’s school principal will also receive notification directly.

How To Apply

All applications for the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Opportunity 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 for applicants born outside of Australia)
  • 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
    • whether 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
  • Provide details of your physical disability (this may include but is not limited to:
    • Moderate to Severe Visual or hearing impairments, Osteoarthritis, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Injuries, Amputation, Paralysis, Cerebral Palsy or a medical illness such as Cancer, epilepsy or diabetes which has resulted in physical disability eg, amputation or visual impairment.)
  • Your University course preferences including name of institution and name of degree/course (you must submit at least one preference but you can enter up to three). Please note – this scholarship is for students studying on-campus only. Students planning to study via on-line mode are ineligible to apply.
  • A statement outlining why you are suitable candidate for this scholarship and how you meet each of the selection criteria. (maximum 400 words)
  • A brief outline of how your current studies (including subject selection) and work experience support your planned University/TAFE studies.
  • Information on your current NDIS status, and NDIS support in relation to your transition to University
  • A copy of your most recent school report ready to upload (PDF or word format)
  • A personal reference (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 deliberation panels are looking for feedback that goes well beyond simple confirmation that the student is enrolled at 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 must be submitted by 11.59pm on Tuesday 13th September 2022. 


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