Families Of Veterans Guild

2024 AVCAT Scholarships

Your child or grandchild may be eligible for the AVCAT tertiary scholarship between $4,000 and $6,000!

2024 AVCAT scholarship applications open on 18 August, including the Australian War Widows NSW Scholarship, and close at midnight 31 October 2023.

AVCAT is a national charity that manages a range of tertiary education scholarships and bursaries for the children and grandchildren of Australian ex-serving men and women. Its mission is to transform lives through education.

The scholarships are sponsored by a range of ex-service organisations, corporate sponsors and individual donors, including AWWNSW, RSL Australia, Legacy, Bravery Trust, Vietnam Veterans Federation, and many more.

AVCAT also manages the Long Tan Bursaries on behalf of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

The scholarships are targeted at the children and grandchildren of veterans who are assessed as being in financial need, show academic potential and are in deserving circumstances. Scholarships are between $4,000 and $6,000 per year for three years and support full-time tertiary study at university, TAFE or registered training organisation.

Applications for scholarships open on 18 August each year to coincide with Vietnam Veterans’ Day and close on 31 October. Successful applicants are notified between February and March the following year.

Transforming Lives Through Education

\"\"When Taryn McCarthy’s father passed away in October 2020, just weeks before her final HSC exams, her life was shattered.

Taryn’s father was an Army veteran, and she describes his death as ‘complicated’ and ‘traumatic’.

“He went through so much heartache,” said Taryn. “A back injury in the army, alcoholism, drug addiction and mental health issues, including PTSD, depression and severe adjustment disorder.”

When her dad passed away, she had been living with him and caring for him. She remembers the day she came home and life as she knew it was gone.

“The motivation to do anything went out the window. I cried and cried and was depressed,” said Taryn. “I scribbled journal entries furiously and slept fitfully. At one point, I remember watching Dance Academy and crying through a whole episode. My dad was a very pivotal and important figure in my life, and his death hit me like a brick.”

Her hometown was filled with painful reminders of her dad. The road they used to drive to school. The supermarket where she worked. The RSL club. The beautiful beaches.

She knew to heal, she had to leave. Taryn points out that she wasn’t running away, she was trying to move forward.

After moving to a different town and spending a year with her mum, last year Taryn made the big move to Sydney to study at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

The same year, she was awarded a Legacy Australia Scholarship, which is one of roughly 250 scholarships managed by the Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT).

Since starting university, Taryn said she has tried many different sports, including Muay Thai, roller skating, ice skating and running, and has made many beautiful friends.

“If you asked me two years ago what my hope for the future was, I’d say something like, ‘I hope I can be happy’,” said Taryn. “And I am. Some days are harder than others, but I feel more stable and content living on my own.”

Taryn said she is lucky and grateful to have received an AVCAT Scholarship. She is also grateful for her father and the role he played in her life.

“I’d like to also thank my dad for helping me create my own light and path,” said Taryn, “For supporting me and loving me for 17 years, and for relentlessly battling and fighting his own problems despite how hard it was for him.”

She also said, “I hope this glimpse into my story can help others not feel so alone.”

Robert Doust was awarded the Australian War Widows NSW Scholarship in 2023. Robert is studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) / Bachelor of Information Technology at the Queensland University of Technology.


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