From the desk of Maree Whybourne, CEO

Education creates amazing opportunities. That is why it is wrong that Indigenous Australians are still more likely than other Australians to miss out.

We want to make sure that as many Indigenous people as possible get the chance to improve their lives and the lives of their children.

Shannon was already enrolled in a degree in education when she became pregnant. Her relationship with her long term partner broke down and it seemed the future she was striving for was not going to be possible. How would she afford to bring up a child on her own let alone study at university?

Shannon had always been the strong one helping others, but now she knew she needed help. As a child, she was the one who went to get help when things got rough at home. As a young adult, and knowing the pain of a difficult childhood, Shannon provided a home for Indigenous children with special needs as a foster mother.

You are one of our most loyal supporters. I hope you agree with Mary MacKillop that no one should be denied an education because of their financial hardship.

All Shannon wanted was to ensure that no young person, whether her own little boy, who is now a toddler, or other children in her care, had to endure the kind of childhood that she had. She desperately wanted to become a teacher, share her love of learning and give Jarrod a stable life. But there was no way Shannon could support her child and cover education expenses like a laptop, text books and internet, travel costs and childcare.

Devastated and feeling helpless, Shannon thought she would have to leave university – and struggle like her mother had. That is when she found out about the Mary MacKillop Scholarship and applied successfully.

Mary MacKillop always said: "Never see a need without doing something about it" and devoted her life to empowering disadvantaged people like Shannon. This Christmas, will you make a difference like Mary did, and ensure more Indigenous Australian university students can obtain the skills and qualifications they need to graduate?

We want to put other deserving students on the same path as Shannon, who is now on track to graduate. Please send a gift in time for Christmas to cover education expenses and change the lives of people like Shannon.


On behalf of Indigenous Australian students who want to create better lives for themselves, their families and communities, please show your kindness. A generous donation to help them thrive may be your most important Christmas gift this year.

Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas with your loved ones. Thank you for all you do.

Yours sincerely,

Maree Whybourne
CEO, Mary MacKillop Foundation