In a week when the benefits of philanthropy have been in the news, Victoria University's very successful Achievement Scholarship program has received a funding boost with a gift of $440,000 over five years from The George Alexander Foundation.
The Achievement Scholarships were first introduced in 2010 and since then more than 200 of the best and brightest students from the western suburbs of Melbourne have received scholarships.
Victoria University, Director of Advancement, Ms Ros Casey said, "This program is unique in that VU is the only university to offer scholarships to students from every secondary school in its region and this funding from The George Alexander Foundation will further enhance our program.
"Every year Victoria University offers two scholarships to students at every secondary school in the western region of Melbourne – approximately 50 schools – in the local government areas of Brimbank, Hobson's Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham.
"One student enrolling in a vocational education course, and one student enrolling in an undergraduate degree at VU is offered a scholarship. Each scholarship provides funding for the duration of the student's course. We hear from the students what an enormous impact it has on their ability to successfully complete their studies." Ms Casey said.
The funds provided by the George Alexander Foundation, to be known as The George Alexander Foundation (GAF) Achievement Scholarships will annually support five students enrolling in an undergraduate degree and twenty students enrolling in a vocational education course.
CEO of The George Alexander Foundation, Ms Janet Hirst, said, "The George Alexander Foundation is committed to supporting higher education opportunities for Australia's best and brightest young people. VU offers an excellent scholarship program with strong links to local schools and communities in the western suburbs. We are delighted to be working with VU to support young achievers in this area and help them to pursue further studies and reach their full potential."
George Alexander AM (1910 - 2008) set up The George Alexander Foundation is 1972 as a way of sharing his wealth and giving back to the community.
He came to Australia as a child migrant, and went on to become a mechanic, an entrepreneur and a businessman and later, a generous philanthropist. The George Alexander Foundation is committed to providing the opportunity for talented students to fulfill their potential through tertiary study by offering scholarships that support students in their studies.
The GAF Scholarship Programs forms the core of the foundation's work, operating in partnership with major tertiary institutions.
Photos of VU Achievement Scholarship holders are available on request
Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University,
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