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Origin Foundation-CEF partnership promotes equity in education

By September 26, 2018No Comments

With a shared belief that long-term impact and life-changing opportunities stem from education, the CEF and Origin Foundation partnership was established in 2012.

Head of the Origin Foundation, Sean Barrett has a long history of leadership within the not-for-profit sector and says the partnership with the Country Education Foundation is important in tackling inequality in education for young people living in the country.

“We have worked with CEF for six years because, in our experience, they are tackling the issues – isolation, achievement and educational disparity – successfully at the local level,” Mr Barrett said.

“It is a testament to the CEF model that the vast majority of recipients complete their courses.”

Head of Origin Foundation Sean Barrett (far right) with CEF alumni (from left) Sophie
Nelson, Chris Mercer, Jelisa Apps and Ashley Nielsen at the Friends’ Event in May.

The philanthropic Origin Foundation was funded and founded by Origin Energy in 2010. Their focus on education has already provided support for tens of thousands of Australian children.

As well as funding rural and regional students to pursue their educational potential, the Origin Foundation has enabled significant project work within CEF, including the Alumni Project – essential for CEF to build a sustainable giving program – while reconnecting with 25 years’ worth of beneficiaries and alumni.

They have also encouraged collaboration with like organisations that enables CEF to have a louder voice, advocating for young country people.

Young people like Laura Taylor, who knows first-hand about the struggles that country kids can face, including the expense of leaving home for tertiary education. Laura is currently in her third year of her Bachelor of Engineering/Science degree at the Australian National University in Canberra and is originally from the Shoalhaven in NSW. Despite being one of the only women in her engineering course, Laura is determined to create a bright future for herself and make her supporters proud.

Origin’s employees are furthering the foundation’s work in the wider community by volunteering their time and skills to help the Origin Foundation’s partners, and the young people they support.

“Last year Origin volunteers supported more than 2000 children through their work in the classroom. Many of those schools were in regional, rural and remote communities,” Mr Barrett said.

As well as helping country kids get a better deal when it comes to education, the Origin Foundation works to encourage more girls to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), supports Indigenous students to achieve in education, and is helping build a stronger community sector through professional training and development for non-profits.

“Education is the key to breaking the cycle of disadvantage,” says Mr Barrett, “and we believe CEF is doing an outstanding job in providing opportunities for young people in regional Australia to pursue their educational and career ambitions.”

To find out how the Origin Foundation is helping prepare young people for the future, their latest annual review at is now available.


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