To foster the further education, career and
personal development opportunities of young
people in the Upper Hunter, through community
based encouragement and financial assistance.


The UHEF raises funds that are then used to provide grants to local youth leaving secondary school who need financial assistance and encouragement to be able to achieve their further education or vocational goals.

The less tangible benefit in the form of community support is also of enormous value in the message each community is giving recipients by providing such support - that message being 'we care for and believe in you and want to be a part of helping you achieve'. For all young people in this time of transition, that message is an empowering one.

For young Australians living in rural and regional areas the cost of accessing tertiary education and vocational opportunities is a source of stress and anxiety and can be prohibitive. Many of the young people we provide assistance and encouragement to would struggle to otherwise achieve their goals due to financial constraints.

You will see that they are based upon a mixture of individual need and perceived/adjudged intention and drive to be successful.


For regional communities the skills shortage is increasing. The people most likely to settle in regional communities are those who are derived from those communities. Therefore the UHEF believes strongly in fostering the education and training of young people from these communities as a means of encouraging the return of those skilled individuals to the community.

The need for skilled trained young people to settle in the Upper Hunter is particularly acute as there is huge demand for skilled youth at present as the mining and associated industries are burgeoning.

However, it is also extremely important to recognize that the communities of the Upper Hunter need to be looking forward to times
when mining is a less prominent part of the economic landscape. The key to unlocking those future opportunities and economic
developments is education.

National statistics show that a considerable proportion of young people who leave their rural and regional communities to embark upon education opportunities return to those same communities.

Over the past 9 years we have supported approximately 230 students providing over $400,000 in direct financial support to help them with their tertiary education pursuits.

Phipps Scholarship
The UHEF has also recently assumed the role of trustee of the Phipps Trust.
The Phipps Trust was established by Dr Gilbert Phipps who bequethed a considerable sum of money for the charitable purpose of providing financial support for students of Muswellbrook High School in their tertiary education pursuits.
The selection criteria for the Phipps Scholarships are slightly different to ordinary UHEF awards. The latter are more focused on financial needs of applicants.