Locals Supporting Locals Through Scholarships

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Stawell locals, Dr Andrew and Mrs Sue Cunningham are backing final year students from Stawell Secondary College by supporting the Chris and Marli Tilley scholarship.

Together Sue and Andrew have decided to help transform futures by supporting a scholarship that will help rural students pursue career and education aspirations.

Through a substantial donation to Youthrive Victoria’s Scholarship Fund, the Cunninghams have topped up the existing scholarship that will go to supporting one final year secondary school student through their university studies in 2024.  The full scholarship includes financial support of $30,000 over three years, plus mentoring and leadership development.

The Cunninghams moved to Stawell in 1977 and have contributed significantly through their work and volunteering.  Andrew has been a local doctor for 45 years and Sue was a teacher and member of Stawell College Council. They are passionate advocates of Stawell and are keen to encourage other members of the community to consider making donations to support young people in the area.

“We are very committed to our community, and we would like to show Stawell Secondary College students we believe in them and their future success.” said Sue.
“If we can help even one student to chase their dream career through further education, that would be so rewarding for us. If they come back to the community with those new skills, that would be the icing on the cake.” added Sue.

Andrew added, “We moved to this lovely country town for a year and have never looked back. Stawell was a sleepy hollow then but had a lot going for it. It obviously had a huge impact as we decided to stay. We raised and schooled our daughters here and we’ve lived and worked here for nearly a half a century!”

School leavers in regional areas have identified financial stress and travel related factors as some of the biggest barriers to taking up their place at university, particularly in their first year out of school.

Youthrive Victoria’s scholarships are designed to inspire and empower rural students by providing financial support and ‘wrap around care’ in the form of transition and career mentoring, leadership development, access to a strong alumni group and network building opportunities.