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Southern NSW students awarded life-changing Public Education scholarships

NSW Department of Education 2 mins read

More than a dozen public school students in southern NSW have received scholarships at the 2024 Proudly Public! Awards night at Sydney Town Hall on Thursday.

They are among more than 300 public school students and educators from across Australia to receive scholarships administered by the Public Education Foundation in 2024.

Since the launch of PEF’s scholarships program in 2009 3,218 students and more than 120 educators have been supported with more than $10 million in life-changing scholarships administered by the Foundation.

Local award winners include:

  • Abby Collihole and Stephanie Woodhead from Coomealla High School - Acacia Program Scholarships
  • Kai Frost from Coomealla High School - Connected Communities Scholarship
  • Ellie Vines from Coomealla High School - Secondary Principals Council Scholarship
  • Harleigh Kenneth-Hayden Carter and Dan Eldridge from Finley High School - Acacia Program Scholarships
  • Sally Johnson from Griffith East Public School - NSW Teachers Federation Primary Scholarship
  • Maddison Elizabeth White from James Fallon High School - Aboriginal Education Council Scholarship
  • Aline Nyanshuti, Justin Shukuru and Merci Rabani from James Fallon High School - Friends of Zainab Senior Secondary Scholarships
  • Berivan Yousif Qari from Mount Austin High School - Friends of Zainab Senior Secondary Scholarship
  • Bella Jenkins from Mount Austin High School - Waratah Education Foundation Secondary Transition Scholarship
  • Mireko Albertine from Murray High School - Friends of Zainab Senior Secondary Scholarship
  • Shamsia Barakzai from Wagga Wagga High School - Friends of Zainab Senior Secondary Scholarship
  • Muhammad Yaseen Barakzai from Wagga Wagga High School - Waratah Education Foundation Secondary Transition Scholarship
  • Zahra Roshan from Wagga Wagga High School - NSW Teachers Federation Refugee Scholarship

NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said the scholarships could be a game changer for many students and change their life trajectory. 

“Our world-class public education system empowers our students and can be an equaliser within our society – that’s why these scholarships are so important to our students who face disadvantage,” Mr Dizdar said.

“Thank you to our staff who support student excellence and the Public Education Foundation for its ongoing support of public education in NSW.

“I am proud of our students, teachers and leaders who have won scholarships and I look forward to seeing the scholarship recipients go on to achieve outstanding educational outcomes.”

Public Education Foundation (PEF) CEO David Riordan further emphasised that the awards celebrated scholarships that had the potential to “change lives”.

“Proudly Public! celebrates the best and brightest students and educators in our public school system,” Mr Riordan said.

“We also want to acknowledge our premium partners and other generous and supportive partners and donors who assist us in providing more of these life-altering scholarships.”

The Public Education Foundation is a charity dedicated to enhancing the value and reputation of public education by providing scholarships to its students, teachers and principals.

For a full list of scholarship recipients visit:

Contact details:

Luke Horton | 0436 950 946 |

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