Pat Conaghan meets Commonwealth Scholarships Recipients To Discuss Their Experiences

Pat Conaghan meets with scholarship recipients and their supporters.


THE Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan met recently with past and current recipients of the Commonwealth Scholarships Program.

Mr Conaghan is encouraging young residents and ex-Australian Defence Force personnel in the Coffs Coast and Grafton region to apply for the Commonwealth Scholarships Program.

He praised the work of BUSY At Work, a not for profit organisation providing apprenticeships, employment and community programs in the region.

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Mr Conaghan said, “BUSY At Work is contracted by the Federal Government to coordinate and deliver the scholarships program in the Coffs Coast region.”

The scholarships are up to $13,000 to undertake an eligible VET qualification from Certificate III through to Advanced Diploma.

Recipients can choose to study part-time or full-time and can receive up to $5,000 per year for up to two years of study and up to an additional $3,000 for completing a 20-day paid internship.

Thirty-two applicants have been approved this year in the Coffs-Grafton area.

Dane Cornish and Evan Mcdonald shared their experiences as scholarship recipients.

Dane received the scholarship last year to study a Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology at TAFE and is currently completing a paid internship with Tech Addicts in Coffs Harbour where he is getting a feel for the industry.

Evan received the scholarship in 2020 to study a Certificate IV in Digital and Interactive Games and has just reapplied to do the Diploma.

He is currently doing a paid internship, working on social media presence, photography styling and website design with The Woodcraft Gallery in Bellingen.

Mr. Conaghan stressed the importance of technology in modern society as he chatted with the visitors.

Two of this year’s recipients in attendance were 16-year old Emma Aldridge, who has just been awarded the scholarship to study a Certificate IV in Community Services at TAFE and Innocent Mbuto who is studying Allied Health.

The program is open to young Australians aged 15 to 24 years, or ex-Australian Defence Force personnel (of any age and who have exited in the last two years).

Applicants must be in full-time work or school at the time of applying and must be living in one of the nominated regional areas.

Applications are encouraged from indigenous residents or people living with an illness, injury or disability, or are from a culturally or linguistically diverse background.

To date the Commonwealth Scholarships Program for young Australians has assisted 54 participants in the Coffs Coast and Grafton region.

More information, including how to apply online, can be found at


By Andrew VIVIAN

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