Margaret awarded for outstanding service by CEF Australia

SIMPLY OUTSTANDING: Margaret with CEF Chairperson Clemence Matchett. Photo: Supplied
SIMPLY OUTSTANDING: Margaret with CEF Chairperson Clemence Matchett. Photo: Supplied

Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) has more than 450 dedicated volunteers in five states and territories. Each year a peer-nominated award recognises the tireless efforts of our outstanding volunteers.

This year the Katie Walker Outstanding Service Award was presented to Margaret Carey from the Country Education Foundation of Grenfell.

While the award is traditionally peer-nominated, this year, we also received nominations from those who benefit the most, our recipients. This is testament to the impact Margaret has on her local youth and the community as a whole.

Margaret was instrumental in the establishment of CEF Grenfell and has acted as Secretary since its inception in 2017.

Margaret is passionate and has the drive to motivate and support her local youth and it is with grace and candour that she deals with recipient adversity where COVID restrictions and financial hardship have placed ongoing pressure on families.

Former students and scholarship winners have praised Margaret for her belief and dedication in them and their education.

"In 2019 I had resigned to the fact that I wouldn't be able to afford university accommodation and that I would need to take a break from study," Aiden Skinner- Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science said.

"I had accepted this and given up, but Margaret Carey didn't.

"She managed to get me a scholarship that covered the accommodation costs and I could not be more grateful.

"Margaret believes that everyone should have opportunities and that we shouldn't be disadvantaged by being from a small country town.

"Since 2019 she has always advocated for us, as students, and supported us through financial aid.

"And she is always just happy to chat! If it wasn't for Margaret Carey I wouldn't be where I am today and I will never forget everything she has done for me."

Others have thanked her.

"Her hard work and dedication to ensuring all CEF grant recipients receive the support they need is one of the many wondrous ways she has supported me," Heather Walker- Bachelor of Education Technology and Applied Studies said.

"As a 2020 and 2021 CEF grand recipient I have been given endless support and encouragement every step of the way.

"With my father falling ill early last year, Margret took the time to ensure I was tracking ok both financially and emotionally.

"She ensured I continued my studies and guided me to achieve my very best. Being the first in my family to progress onto university studies, I am forever grateful for the continued guidance Margaret has given me.

"It is reassuring that there is someone like Margaret who is happy to hear my story and embrace my passion.

"I have known Margaret ever since I was in year 7. I have developed a stronger relationship with Margaret since finishing school and in fact, I would have felt lost without her!

"Her wise words have let me embrace my passions no matter what! Thank you, Margaret."