Dialog Box


Country Education Foundation (CEF) is a national not-for-profit organisation helping rural and regional youth access education, training and jobs through grants, scholarships and support services and resources.

Our Story

It all started in Boorowa, NSW, in 1993, when a group of community members came together to raise funds for students who couldn’t afford post-school training or further education.

The idea soon spread and similar foundations were formed in Yass, Cowra and Harden. CEF has since grown into a family of more than 40 local education foundations across New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia.

Country Education Foundation Chairman Nick Burton Taylor was one of the founding members of the organisation. His belief in the power of local communities to change lives by providing further education, training and career opportunities is inspirational and contagious.

Supporting local students through local foundations

CEF’s local foundations across the country are run by community volunteers all with one thing in common – a passion for seeing rural and regional youth succeed.

Local foundations engage in fundraising to provide local grants and scholarships to youth in their areas. This financial support ranges from $500 to $5,000 per student, per year and helps buy textbooks and laptops for uni students, purchase tools and equipment for apprentices and assists rural and regional youth to relocate to take up career opportunities. 

CEF provides a lot more than just grants. We also support and mentor students throughout their studies or apprenticeships.

For most students, this community support is just as important as the financial assistance. It’s about knowing that their community is backing them and believes in their aspirations. 

Strong communities determine their future success, prosperity and sustainability. By investing in our young people CEF is investing in the future of rural and regional Australia.

CEF’s national office, based in Orange, NSW, provides financial support, training and resources to this family of local foundations through seed funding, student support resources, volunteer resources, governance and compliance services, accounting, technology, event management and advocacy.

We also partner with tertiary institutions and corporate and philanthropic organisations across the country to provide additional funding and support to CEF local grant and scholarship recipients.
CEF has tax deductibility status (DGR), so all donations over $2 are fully tax deductible.

Help where it's needed most

Country Education Foundation grants are equity based. Our collective mission is to see all young rural and regional Australians achieve their dreams through supported access to further education, training and jobs.

The CEF approach to locally-based fundraising, grants and support is a proven success.
Independent research shows that for every dollar invested in our work a return of $3.10 is created in social value – changing the lives of young Australians, their families and their communities.

Together our foundations have helped over 4,000 young Australian become nurses, teachers, plumbers, accountants, pilots, builders, scientists, hairdressers and engineers. We can’t wait to support a future Australian Prime Minister.

For Jonathan Forrest from Country Education Foundation of Monaro, a local CEF offers crucial support to regional and rural families.

In an area like this where there is not a university close by the students face huge costs that those in city areas don't necessarily have, if they are living at home and going to univeristy, TAFE or to work.

Jonathan Forrest

Jono believes that extra bit of help and support to get them off to uni or TAFE makes all the difference.


In an area such as the Monaro, we're reliant on the rural economy and tourism. A poor run of years means parents stuggle to send their kids off
to futher education.

Jonathan Forrest

Good governance

CEF is governed by a Board of Directors and is committed to good governance. Our grants and scholarships are non-cash.  We reimburse students for a pre-agreed receipted expense, or we pay a goods or services provider directly for expenses related to a recipient achieving their goal.

Our impact

We have helped more than 4,000 rural and regional young Australians on their way to further education, training and careers. 

CEF Student Impact Reports (Grant Reports)

CEF Reports and Financials


CEF Annual Reviews

Support us

Our important work relies on corporate and private philanthropy and donations. You can directly contirbute to the futures of young Australians by making a tax deductible donation HERE or contacting CEF on 1300 652 144.