Home' The Monaro Post : The Monaro Post February 15, 2017 Contents NEWS
Wednesday February 15, 2017
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Investing in the future
of rural students
On Thursday February 9 the
Monaro Education Foundation
(MEF) gathered to celebrate
2017 grant recipients.
The evening gave the
committee, recipients and their
families a chance to meet and
socialise with a fundamental
message of support from the
MEF and community at large.
Seventeen students will be
receiving financial assistance
packages from the MEF to
help them with their transition
from high school into further
education, training or jobs.
From nursing, to engineering
and theatre studies this group
of vibrant and determined
young community members
are set to take on their studies
in various locations including
Wollongong, Sydney and
Some of these students
will receive co-funding from
their institutions as a result
of partnerships established
by the Country Education
Foundation of Australia.
The reality for young
Australians living in the Monaro
is that to shape a career or
undertake further education
they must often leave home,
travel and live in or near
With this in mind, the
Monaro Education Foundation
fundraises throughout the year
and accepts donations from
local residents and businesses
in order to provide financial
grants to students who need
an extra helping hand.
The funds come directly
from your local community
none of it is government
funded – celebrating the
aspirations of local youth and
working to help them achieve
It’s the communities way of
saying “we believe in you and
want to support your goals”.
Independent research shows
that for every dollar invested
in this cause a return of $3.10
is created in social value –
changing the lives of young
Australians, their families and
Over 90 percent of grant
recipients under the Country
umbrella go on to complete
the course or training for which
they are funded.
By investing in these young
people we are investing in their
future and in the future of rural
Pictured, recipients in attendance: Virginia Platts, Georgia Rossiter, Cassie Miller, Georgia Taylor,
Emma Fogarty, Kate Schofield, Brianna Kerr and Hannah Ingram.
Gift cards crack $100k
They were the hottest Christmas
present in town.
Chances are you’ve spent one
or may even have a Cooma Gift
Card sitting in your wallet right now.
The Cooma Gift Card has been
embraced by the community, and its
popularity has seen the card crack
$125,000 worth of transactions.
An initiative of the Cooma
Chamber of Commerce, the
program is coordinated by Why
Leave Town (WLT) Promotions and
with the introduction of the card into
towns across the state, it’s Cooma
where they’ve really made a mark.
At the end of January, more than
2,100 cards had been activated. 63
businesses in town have signed up
for the gift cards, and according to
chamber president, Kathy Kelly, the
success of the gift cards has not
“This is amazing. However, it
has not happened by accident.
We have a great team working
on the marketing of the program
and fantastic support by our local
businesses who’ve been keen to join
the program,” Ms Kelly said.
The gift cards were introduced
into the business community in
April 2016 and in only eight months
Cooma became the first town to
pass the $100,000 mark.
WLT is a Narrabri based operation
and has helped 14 towns set up a
gift card program.
Orange, Cowra and Bathurst are
three of the towns operating a gift
card, and despite Cooma’s smaller
population, Ms Kelly said the town
has thrown its support behind the
“An aspect that differentiates the
Cooma Gift Card from many other
country towns who are promoting
something similar is the sponsorship
“The actual cards cost $3 and are
one use only. Many other towns
charge customers $3 extra when
they purchase a gift card,” Ms Kelly
“Cooma has been extremely lucky
to receive sponsorship from Snowy
Hydro and the Cooma Ex-Services
Club who are paying for the cards
and ongoing program costs.
“With no extra cost to purchasers
or the businesses taking part in the
program this has allowed the gift
card greater acceptance.”
Ms Kelly paid tribute to Suzanne
Dunning (committee member), Karen
McGufficke (chamber executive
officer) and Alana Brown (committee
member representing the Cooma
Ex-Services Club) who have worked
tirelessly in activating shops, cards
and refilling stocks.
At the end of January 2017 there
was $39,000 on cards still waiting to
For a full list of where you can
purchase and redeem gift cards
visit the WLT website at www.
For businesses to join the program
they must be a member of the
Cooma Chamber of Commerce.
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