David Burgess Foundation

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Chairman’s Message


I am very pleased to report that 2017 was another very successful year for the Foundation. It was great to see so many of our supporters at our 25th Anniversary dinner. It was a sold-out event, and I thank those who could make the evening, provide donations for our silent auction and to all of our volunteers who gave their time organising the evening. Our thanks also to Box Hill Institute, who again were generous in their support of the DBF. On the night, we raised $25,000 including a very generous, sizeable donation from one of our long-time supporters.

We are reminded each year as we get to know our students, that so often it is a parent, a family member, a close friend, a member of the community or a school teacher who makes a significant contribution to our students during their schooling years. With many students having difficulties in pursuing their studies, a commitment to support someone who is having a tough period, reminds us that our community has so many caring and giving people, who are not usually recognised for their efforts. We were fortunate this year to meet many of you at our dinner. I know I speak for all our supporters and students to say thank you for your support of the students at a difficult time in their lives – our teachers, families, and friends have proven time again that they can change lives.

Thank you to you all.


Mark Burgess.


Three deserving scholarship winners for 2018

This year saw an impressive selection of finalists interviewed by the selection panel.  The task was, as is the case every year, a difficult one for the selection panel who had the unenviable task of choosing only three amongst the range of outstanding finalists

The three outstanding scholarship winners of 2016 are;

  •  Brianna Flint: from Casterton Secondary College. Brianna is studying a Bachelor Biomedical Science at Monash University.
  • Spencer Beedle-Moulding: from Melba College. Spencer is studying a Bachelor Arts and Antropology at  University of Melbourne.
  • Sierra Asherson: from Berwick College. Sierra  is studying a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at RMIT.


Left to Right:   Spencer Beedle-Moulding with Mark Burgess and David Caple: Sierra Asherson with Susie Corlett and Bronwyn Sidwell : Brianna Flint with Tim and Kate Burgess


Latest Newsletter

June 2018 Newsletter DBF



A contribution from one of our past students, Kate Jackson

Cert. Youth, Child & Family, RMIT.

As a young girl, being picked on for having dirty clothes and no lunch, I always knew that getting an education was the way out. I saw the successful people around me and knew that the foundation of their success was completing their education, something that did not happen in my family. I worked hard at school and worked even harder when things were not good at home. Being well supported by fantastic teachers, I got pretty good results in my VCE and I was so honoured to receive a scholarship from The David Burgess Foundation in 1995. I was sure that going to university and with having a financial helping hand from the Foundation I would excel and succeed.

Life is not always that easy and, as many of my fellow awardees will know, the background that brings us to TDBF does not suddenly disappear with entry to Uni. I had put so much pressure on myself to get to Uni. but had not really planned for what came next. I didn’t choose the right course for me, I had no support from family and, after having such supportive teachers, I struggled with the adult learning environment. After all that work to get there I was not doing well.

The time came to face reality and make some decisions about career paths rather than just “getting an education”. I dropped out of my Bachelor of Psychology and completed a Cert. 1V Community Services – Youth, Child and Family. The following year I got a job working in Out of School Hours Care (OSHC). I got married and moved back and forth between NSW and Victoria with my husband and son, co-ordinating Before and After School Care and Vacation Care services in Melbourne, Sydney, Hunter Valley and Ballarat. In 2009 I completed a Certificate 111 in Business. I got a job working at IBM as a Personal Assistant supporting Executives in Melbourne and Sydney remotely from the Ballarat office. It was fast paced, high pressure work arranging teleconferences across international time-zones, arranging international travel and visas and reconciling expenses for my Execs. I recently took the opportunity to move back to the education sector after accepting the role of Manager of the ERC (student services) at St Patrick’s College, Ballarat. I am working with an amazing team and love being back in the education sector.

For me the biggest impact of the Foundation has been mentor support. During the tough times, my mentors were there with a listening ear, good advice and a “phone hug”. Strong, employed women who push through the tough times are not easy to find in my family or the community I grew up in. Kath and Mary were these models for me. I will be forever grateful for the support they have given me.


And another from Erin Brereton

B. of Education (Primary), La Trobe University (Bendigo).

From the Jungle to the Classroom

The year 2007 was an incredible experience. With the support of GAP placements and The David Burgess Foundation, I shipped off and spent 6 months teaching in the rural areas of Vanuatu. This involved taking control of a classroom of grades 5 and 6 and trying to ensure that they met all the criteria for the end of year exams. A nerve wracking experience for my first teaching assignment! Upon completion, I returned home to Australia to complete my Education Degree at La Trobe Bendigo.

Returning home was an eye opener! Everything was so busy, so loud and it was all almost too much. I had only been gone for 6 months and yet the simple lifestyle I had adopted wouldn’t allow for any sort of quick transition. Going to the supermarket for the first time was frightening. There was just so much food and variety. After 6 months of “You eat what you catch” mentality it was quite overwhelming. The ideas people had of what was important were so different and I had trouble believing how peoples’ priorities differed. Socialising became difficult and many of my relationships with old friends became strained, as we just didn’t seem to see eye to eye anymore, I didn’t seem to fit into my old life. Eventually things began to return to normal. The ideals of a simpler life began to fade and were once again replaced with a need for “things”, the ideals of a western culture began to reassert themselves and life more or less returned to how it had been.

The return home also involved returning to my studies. Heading towards the culmination of my degree I began to become more involved in my placements within schools. I took part in a number of placements in different schools, teaching varying grades throughout. I was aided, I think, by the experiences I had in teaching in Vanuatu. Six months of actual classroom teaching definitely helped to promote a confidence in my abilities as a teacher. Throughout this time the assessments piled ever higher and the due dates loomed closer and closer. Eventually all the work paid off as I completed my degree and was awarded a Bachelor of Education. Now for the real work to begin.

After completing a professional portfolio and applying for many positions, the interview process began. Some days I would apply for two schools, some days for ten. Each day I would await return phone calls requesting an interview or emails thanking me for my application but I would not need to attend an interview. Once the interviews started I was travelling across the state attending different schools. Once again I was astounded by the difference in quality of our state’s educational facilities. Some schools gave off a great first impression, leaving me with a sense of hope that maybe that would be the one which would select me, others left me with a sense that perhaps that was not the place for me. After a number of interviews I was offered a place at the Eltham Primary School, teaching grade 1’s and I happily accepted the position.

Now I am living in Eltham and working at the school. What a beautiful little school it is and I have the most wonderful little class of students. They can be a handful and can leave you incredibly drained with their constant questions but they are eager to learn and the thrill that is involved when you realise that they have retained a lesson is something else. I have only just begun my career but I can only hope that it continues to be as fulfilling and enjoyable as the beginning has been.


Continuing Sponsorships in 2015

As well as funding our three new awardees this year, the DBF is proud to be continuing to support five past scholarship winners with both mentoring and financial scholarship support:

Tracie Green (2014) Tracie completed her VCE at Yarra Hills Secondary College in Mooroolbark. She is studying Nursing at ACU in Melbourne, which is a 3 year full time course.

Odette Tran (2014) Odette changed courses, now doing 1st year of Diploma of Specialist Makeup at the Gordon TAFE. This is a 12 month full time course.
Alay Tikue (2014). Alay has elected to study Advanced Electrical Engineering at RMIT. This is a 2 year full time course.
Ivy Nguyen (2013) is studying 2nd year of Nursing at ACU.Aaron Wills (2013) completed a one year Diploma of Library and Information Services at Victoria University and has been accepted to study primary teaching at Australian Catholic University, which is a 3 year full time course.
Abbas Ahmadi (2009) has deferred from Bachelor Engineering (Aerospace), working full-time, hoping to sponsor his father to Australia.
Maddison Millane (2011) has deferred from 2nd year of studying Social Work at RMIT and is enjoying overseas travel.
Recent News of Other Previous Scholarship Awardees.

Jennifer Roberts (Bridges) (1996), B. Commerce, Uni. of Melbourne – has her own business; she and husband, Stuart, are expecting a playmate for Mimi this month (Feb)

Samantha Hickman (1997) completed her Degree in Medicine.

Jenni Wallington (1998) (Medical Laboratory Science) is doing final year of B. Health (Paramedic) in Brisbane.

David Langdon (2002) (B. Mechanical Engineering) still working with engineering company in Bendigo, he & his partner are building a house.

Holly Cafe (2007) (B. Educational Studies) continues working with optical company where she has recently had a promotion.

Lisa Bickley (2008) (B. Biotechnology & Cell Biology) working as Medical Scientist in Gippsland.

Kate Jackson (1995) – will be travelling overseas with husband, Nathan, & son Nic this year.

Christine Hermawan (Adadikam) (2003) – she and Peter have a 3rd son, Samuel Jordan.

Jessica Earle (2009) – completed Art- Science (Deakin) in 2012 and currently taking a year off from study to travel. Plans to transfer to medicine.


  • Box Hill Institute of TAFE, for their continued support in many ways, including providing venues, catering and assistance for meetings and function.
  • Ivanhoe Grammar School staff and students, for their continuing support with another donation of $500 in December.
  • Mullauna College, for the use of their photocopying and printing facilities respectively.
  • Those Victorian State Secondary Schools who make donations to TDBF.
  • Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals for their assistance by providing us with their Directory of Schools. This enables us to send application forms for our Scholarships to schools each year without having to pay for the information.


And last, but not least,

Our Supporters, who continue to make our assistance to students possible by making donations to TDBF. Each year we receive donations from a range of people – those who have supported the Foundation every year, others who give when they can and those who attended our fund-raising dinner. We are often intrigued by the generous donations that arrive “out of the blue” and we eventually discover how news of our Foundation reaches these people who are then inspired to support us. This year, when a much-loved friend and supporter died, donations to TDBF were requested instead of expensive flowers and we are very grateful for this gesture and the donations we received. Another loyal supporter has arranged for monthly donations to be automatically paid to TDBF.

The amounts we receive vary greatly but we are most grateful to each and every one of you.

Donation form –Download