Help us raise $60,000 by 30 June so that more Indigenous people, like Sherelle, can achieve their dream of a university education.

"I am determined to change the course of my life and my children’s lives."

From the desk of Maree Whybourne, CEO

Every day, I see the extraordinary opportunities a university education provides. That is why it makes me very sad that we receive many more worthy applications for scholarships at the Mary MacKillop Foundation than we can currently fund.

Will you help us raise $60,000 by 30 June so that more Indigenous people can achieve their dream of a university education?

Your donation will empower Indigenous people like Sherelle, a single mother of three children, aged 21, 8 and 6 years old.

Sherelle had a tough start to life in a small rural town in a large Indigenous community. Poor health, financial hardship, frequent moves and domestic violence in the family made it almost impossible for her to engage in her education and achieve her potential at school.

No one in Sherelle’s extended family had been to university or TAFE. When she finished Year 12, she had no guidance, aspirations or financial support so, at 20, she became a young single mother without skills or qualifications.

Sadly, Sherelle’s story is very common. Today, 2 in 5 Indigenous people don’t finish high school. Often these young people have not ever been encouraged or recognised for their abilities. Unemployment in country towns like Sherelle’s is high. Life expectations are low.

Sherelle has fought hard to escape domestic violence herself and raise two younger children with complex health needs. She has never stopped wanting to change the direction of her life and her children’s – away from disadvantage and towards opportunity.

That is why five years ago, she did something never before done in her family – she enrolled in university. She has a dream to pursue a career helping to reduce Indigenous violence and imprisonment rates. She enrolled in a Bachelor of Community & Social Development, with plans to then complete a Masters of Social Work.

Sherelle loves university. She knows her tertiary studies are vital to give her children a better future. However, life as a mature age student and single parent is very tough. She struggles day-to-day to afford the many expenses of university and child-rearing.

Thankfully, when Sherelle was almost at breaking point, people like you changed everything. We offered Sherelle an Indigenous Tertiary Scholarship to help her realise her dream.

If we can raise $60,000, the Foundation can fund 20 more Indigenous Tertiary Scholarships covering living expenses associated with their tertiary study for the duration of their course.

Today, Sherelle is rightfully proud of her newfound skills, confidence and employability thanks to a scholarship which covers her course expenses. For the first time in her life, she has the financial security to make a five-year plan. It includes finishing her Masters degree, getting a job helping others, buying her first home and ensuring her children get a quality education.

Our nation needs more people with Sherelle’s unique outlook and experience, so let’s give them the vital support they require to create better futures. Please donate today.

Thank you in advance.

Yours sincerely,

Maree Whybourne
CEO, Mary MacKillop Foundation