These testimonials say it all:
“Western Chances opened a door to a lot of opportunities for me. Without them, none of my achievements would have happened. It’s impossible to repay that.” Eangano, Second year, Bachelor of Biomedical and Exercise Science, Victoria University and a Rotary Melbourne Young Achiever Awardee 2020.
“Through Western Chances I learned that I have potential. Now I’m trying my hardest to do well so that I can repay the faith they have in me.” Akon, First year Bachelor of Science, the University of Melbourne.
“I know that the experiences I’m having through Western Chances are a springboard to my dream job.” Alannah, Year 11.
The role that Western Chances plays:
The Role we play in helping to achieve that vision is to realise their potential by providing scholarships, opportunity programs and ongoing support. We partner with talented and motivated young people from Melbourne’s west to enable them to thrive.
Western Chances strategy is to achieve its vision by:
- Working closely with schools to identify young people with talent and motivation who are facing financial disadvantage
- Supporting those young people (with money and opportunities) to:
- Confidently name and pursue their education and career goals.
- Return to Melbourne’s west to share their knowledge, skills and networks.
- Building ongoing and meaningful relationships with donors (large and small) to fund this activity.
Since 2004 Western Chances has:
- Invested above $6.3 million in scholarships
- Assisted more than 3115 young people to overcome barriers to success
- Awarded more than 7830 new and renewal scholarships
- Western Chances Scholarship recipients also have outstanding year 12 completion rates.
How Western Chances began
Western Chances was established in 2003 by Terry Bracks AM and was modelled on a successful scholarship program delivered by Chances for Children in Mildura. Having worked as a teacher in Victorian state schools, Terry knew that financial barriers often prevented young people completing their education and fulfilling their potential.
We now award hundreds of scholarships annually, to talented and motivated young people from the six municipalities in Melbourne’s west. Through new and renewal scholarships, opportunity programs, and ongoing support, we back these young people.
Scholarships provide funding for small items that have a big impact: things like textbooks, laptops and internet access, maths calculators and MYKI cards. In addition to scholarship support, Western Chances facilitates a range of excellent and potentially life-changi ng opportunities via our education, business and community partners.
These opportunities extend the knowledge and skills of our young people, increase confidence and self-esteem, and foster leadership. These are high quality experiences which the young person might not otherwise access, be aware of or be able to afford. Past recipients are now established in professions such as commerce, engineering, environmental science, law, marketing, medicine, teaching and the arts.
One of the keys to Western Chances’ success is that in addition to alleviating financial barriers, our young people develop self-belief, confidence, motivation and pride from the recognition and celebration of their achievements by an external organisation.
We’re so proud of the young people we’ve supported and continue to support, and the momentum we’ve achieved in 15 years.