The 2021 Census indicates that approximately 3,900 Boroondara residents aged 12 to 25, live in households with an equivalised income of less than $602 per week (annual income $31,300 or less). This is the lowest quartile of Victorian equivalised household incomes.*
The Education CHANCES Foundation, established in 2007, aims to provide scholarships to young people experiencing financial hardship, who live or study in the City of Boroondara. The organisation, through its scholarship program, has since granted over 1,200 scholarships to deserving students. The Education CHANCES Foundation sets young people up for life with potential for meaningful work, continuing learning, and career advancement, which in turn benefit their own children and society as a whole.
Education CHANCES aims to broadly reduce the impact of financial disadvantage on the educational achievement and wellbeing of capable and committed students. The Foundation also works to alleviate the social isolation that disadvantaged students experience, by providing resources allowing students to become more engaged both educationally, and also in extracurricular, social and cultural activities. Examples of students who have received support include young carers, refugees and asylum seekers and students experiencing financial hardship due to disability, mental health issues, or family circumstances. As a result, the Education CHANCES scholarship program has provided significant value to both the students, their families, and also the broader community. A 2017 Think Impact evaluation on the social and economic benefit of the Foundation found that for every $1 invested in education, CHANCES students generated between $12 and $17 of benefit. For the students personally, the opportunity Education CHANCES provides has enabled 99% of scholarship recipients to complete a degree or vocational qualification. In 2022/23 alone, all CHANCES VCE students successfully completed VCE and gained tertiary placements.
Accru Melbourne has had a long-standing relationship with Education CHANCES, auditing the Foundation since 2008. Accru has also assisted the organisation in obtaining a $10,000 grant through the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and has provided volunteers for the local Boroondara Farmers Market which is a significant contributor to the Foundation. More recently, at the start of 2023, being appointed to complete the Treasury function for the organisation in a gratuitous capacity. We have also enjoyed offering part-time work opportunities to six outgoing Year 12 Education CHANCES Scholarship recipient students, before they have entered into tertiary study. Accru supports Education CHANCES mission to support financially disadvantaged young people in our area through their education journey.
Education CHANCES is a local organisation that thinks globally and acts locally. They believe that there are no other organisations in Boroondara that provide the holistic service that they provide for their recipients. The Foundation encourages people to support their cause and help them continue to make a significant contribution to their local community.
The Foundation is keen to raise funds to support even more deserving students in the area and is holding a breakfast on Tuesday 9th May 2023 to share Boroondara’s Best Kept Secret. Think Impact Director Suzi Young will share the results of the latest Social Return on Investment (SROI) evaluation of the Education CHANCES Scholarship Program and how this program is making a positive difference to the lives of young people living and studying in Boroondara.
*Equivalised income is adjusted by the ABS to reflect that a larger household would normally need more income than a smaller household to achieve the same standard of living.