Proudly Public: students awarded life-changing scholarships

More than 300 public school students and educators received scholarships at the 2024 Proudly Public! Awards night at Sydney Town Hall. Alyssa Terese reports.

Five students holding certificates. Five students holding certificates.
Image: Waratah Education Foundation Secondary Transition Scholarship recipients Myahope Tobin, Chifley College Dunheved Campus, Tiamana Francis, Merrylands High School, Abbey Wright, Kingswood Park Public School, Jack Banger, Cambridge Gardens Public School, and Muhammad Yaseen Barakzai, Wagga Wagga High School.

Students and teachers from public schools across the state have been recognised at the 2024 Public Education Foundation’s Proudly Public! Awards in Sydney.

Dozens of students were presented with awards at a gala ceremony at Town Hall on Thursday 9 May.

The scholarship program has supported 3218 students and 120 teachers, and more than $10 million has been awarded, since it launched in 2009.

The awards support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, students from refugee backgrounds, vocational studies and teacher development.

NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar said the scholarships were a game changer for many students.

“Our world-class public education system empowers our students and can be an equaliser within our society – that’s why these scholarships are so important to our students who face disadvantage,” Mr Dizdar said.

“Thank you to our staff who support student excellence and the Public Education Foundation for its ongoing support of public education in NSW.

“I am proud of our students, teachers and leaders who have won scholarships and I look forward to seeing the scholarship recipients go on to achieve outstanding educational outcomes.”

Public Education Foundation CEO David Riordan further emphasised that the awards had the potential to “change lives”.

“Proudly Public! celebrates the best and brightest students and educators in our public school system,” Mr Riordan said.

“We also want to acknowledge our premium partners and other generous and supportive partners and donors who assist us in providing more of these life-altering scholarships.”

The Public Education Foundation is a charity dedicated to enhancing the value and reputation of public education by providing scholarships to its students, teachers and principals.

For a full list of the 2024 scholarship recipients, visit

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