In September 2021, the MEGT Board agreed to create a foundation to realise the company’s philanthropic objectives and social goals. Chair of the MEGT board, Barry O'Gorman said:
“Through the establishment of the MEGT Foundation, we will be distributing 10 scholarships up to the value of $20,000 per scholar in 2022–2023. MEGT will thus realise its vision to create opportunities for women who are overcoming disadvantage to fulfil their career aspirations and increase their levels of self-determination through a course of study. This may range from a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification to the first year of a graduate program. These women, who may be early school-leavers or mature aged students, will also receive one-to-one coaching and collegiality and connection through their membership of a Scholars Community of Practice”.
From July 2022, a pilot of the scholarship program will become available to women residing in the Western region of Victoria who wish to begin a course of study in 2023. Subsequent scholarships will be offered nationally from 2024.
2022–23 pilot program
In the 2022–23 scholarship round, 10 scholarships up to the value of $20,000 will be distributed. The round will open in late July 2022, and applicants will be selected in October 2022.
The scholarship program targets women who are experiencing barriers to education and/or employment. It will provide them with the necessary financial support to enable them to undertake a course of study, including course fees and other costs associated with the study itself and/or general living expenses.
Successful applicants will also receive one-to-one support and guidance, and access to a Scholars Community of Practice, which will assist them to remain engaged and problem-solve any barriers to study, as well as offering them a sense of collegiality.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for the pilot program, applicants must meet the following criteria. Further detail about criteria five and six is provided below this list.
- Female or identify as female
- Aged 18 or over
- Residing in Australia over the scholarship period
- An Australian citizen, permanent resident, or the holder of a Humanitarian Visa
- Experiencing financial hardship and/or personal disadvantage
- Able to demonstrate their commitment and availability to pursue study through to completion
Those applying on the basis of financial hardship can demonstrate this through their possession of a Health Care card and/or eligibility for one of the following:
- HECS-HELP loan
- Training subsidised by the Victorian or Commonwealth Government (if applying for a Certificate IV or below)
- Vocational Education and Training (VET) Student Loan (if applying for diploma level or below)
Those applying due to personal disadvantage may be subject to one or more of the following risk factors:
- Subject to abuse and/or domestic/family violence
- An early school leaver (before completing Year 10)
- An Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person
- From a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background
- A refugee or asylum seeker
- Living with a disability or debilitating health condition
- Experiencing a mental health barrier
- Experiencing poverty
- A single parent
- Unemployed or underemployed
The Scholars Working Group will select scholarship recipients. They will be flexible in their approach, able to respond to the circumstances applicants present with. For example, applicants may still be eligible, in the following circumstances provided they meet the other criteria. However, they will need to provide evidence that supports their need to have a particular eligibility criterion waived. For example, the applicant may:
- Be fleeing domestic/family violence and may not yet be able to secure a Health Care Card due to their financial situation not being finalised as part of the divorce or separation process
- Have previously completed a VET qualification and is wanting to complete a qualification of a similar level in order to reskill. (In this situation, they would not be eligible to receive a HECS-HELP loan or VET Student Loan)
- Be 50-plus, recently separated, experiencing poverty and/or homelessness and be interested in reskilling to obtain employment opportunities. In this case, in order to reskill, an applicant may be further marginalised by having to pay off a HECS-HELP loan or VET Student Loan
What will the scholarship help with?
The scholarships will support the applicants to gain skills and knowledge to pursue a meaningful and sustainable career. Support may be put toward the following:
- Fees for short courses, certificates, a diploma or the first year of a Graduate qualification
- Childcare or babysitting to support course attendance, studying and completion of assignments
- Internet/Wi-Fi access
- Laptop, monitor and printer
- Office equipment such as a desk and/or chair
- Living expenses such as food and/or payment of utilities
- Travel expenses such as public transport or petrol
- Books, stationery and materials
One-to-one and group support
The program will also support women to successfully complete their qualification through the delivery of:
- Scholar coaching sessions – one-to-one with the Foundation Manager (five times a year)
- Scholars’ Community of Practice sessions – three per year for a half or full day, including:
o Reflective practice session
o Micro-credentials as defined by scholars, such as:
- Goal setting
- Dealing with stress
- Time management
- Financial literacy
- Health and wellbeing
- Bystander training
How do I apply?
Expression of interest
Women who are interested and eligible for this opportunity are invited to complete this Expression of Interest (EOI) form by 22 August 2022.
If you are deemed suitable to apply, based on your EOI, we will email you a Scholarship Information Pack and invitation to a briefing session.
Attendance at the briefing session is compulsory, where you will be given an overview of the application process and an opportunity to ask questions.
Those who have been invited to apply will be expected to include the following in their application:
- Birth Certificate (copy)
- Documentation reflecting your status as a Permanent Resident (copy) or holder of a Humanitarian Visa (copy)
- Personal, professional or community references detailing aptitude, competence and commitment (original)
- Letter of support from sponsorship agency (i.e. Learn Local, Neighbourhood House or Victoria University) to confirm they support your application
- A letter from training provider confirming they support your course and scholarship application (original)
Applicants will also be expected to supply evidence of any financial or personal disadvantage, which may include:
- Health Care Card (copy)
- Centrelink statement/payslip/bank statement (copy)
- Certificate or report related to your disability or medical condition (copy)
- Evidence of a delay or interruption to your studies due to compassionate reasons such as a death in the immediate family, domestic/family violence or homelessness (copy)
What are the pre-requisites?
All applicants will be required to demonstrate their motivation, determination and competence to complete a course of study and subsequently, employment in a related field.
They will need to possess
- A ‘can-do’ attitude
- The ability to meet normal study requirements, such as regular attendance and the time commitment involved in studying and completing assessments
- The ability to effectively manage study and other commitments
- The ability to problem-solve issues that threaten the completion of qualification
- A supportive and reliable counsellor or case manager and/or a supportive and reliable network of family and friends
- The ability to participate in Scholar coaching sessions and Scholars Community of Practice sessions
They will need to understand that:
- Submission of an application does not guarantee receipt of a scholarship
- Applications will not be received beyond 5pm on Sunday 18 September
- Incomplete applications will not be considered. To be considered complete, all questions must be addressed and supporting documentation must be included with the submission
- Applications must include a detailed budget with accurate costings confirming the items they are seeking support with
- Successful applicants will be notified at the end of October
- Successful applicants will need to provide proof of enrolment in the course they have applied to prior to being sent a Scholarship Agreement
- The first instalment of the scholarship will be paid on receipt of the confirmation of enrolment, study plan and signed Scholarship Agreement
- Applicants will need to reside in Australia while undertaking their studies
- Applicants must be looking to study in 2023
- Deferring your course will make the scholarship void
- Recipients must maintain their enrolment for the duration of the scholarship period
- The scholarship cannot be transferred to another course of study other than the one originally applied for
- If the scholar fails a unit of competency they will incur the enrolment and/or course fee associated with resitting it
- Scholarships are not redeemable for cash
- Scholarships cannot be deferred
- We understand the need to balance family, work and study commitments and the importance of staying connected to the labour market and will demonstrate some flexibility in this regard to support current material requirements and longer-term goals
Application, recruitment and fulfilment stages
The application, recruitment and fulfilment stages are outlined below:
Activity Date Opening of Scholarship round 18 Jul 2022 Deadline for Expression of Interest 22 Aug 2022 Scholarship information sessions 17–31 Aug 2022 Applications distributed 29–31 Aug 2022 Applications close 18 Sept 2022 Shortlist 26–28 Sept 2022 In-person interviews 11–13 Oct 2022 Reference checks 17–19 Oct 2022 Notification 31 Oct 2022 A Scholarship Agreement will be sent out to successful applicants on receipt of their enrolment confirmation and learning plan Dec 2022–Jan 2023 Payment of first instalment Jan–Feb 2023 Scholar coaching sessions Mar, May, Jul, Sept, Nov 2023 Scholarship Community of Practice sessions Mar, Jun, Sept 2023 Scholars submit half-yearly report Jun–Jul 2023 Payment of second instalment Jul 2023