Beryl Neilsen, who established the Winchester Foundation in 2011, was awarded an ICPA Qld Certificate of Appreciation in 2019.
The goal of the Foundation is to help rural and regional students obtain a good education and the same career opportunities as their city counterparts.
They achieve this goal by providing scholarships to families whose children are living and studying away from home. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $6 million to more than 1400 scholarships.
The Winchester Foundation’s Early Beginnings
Beryl and her husband, John, lived at Winchester Downs, just south of Moranbah in Queensland. Motivated by an understanding that country students were missing out on an educational opportunities. The Foundation is Beryl’s way of supporting the rural community.
The Foundation’s scholarships help students in rural and regional areas access education opportunities.
Winchester Foundation Events
The Foundation, also supports events that includes the well-known Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival held at the Whitsunday Anglican School, Mackay. Starting with just 93 students in 2013, this event has now grown to include over 4220 students and their families from a variety of small country schools.
Students attending the Whitsunday Voices Youth Literature Festival include schools in the Mackay and Isaac regions, and the Capricornia School of Distance Education, as well as the Charters Tower School of Distance Education Outreach Group. The Winchester Foundation generously pays all the expenses for the students to attend this event.
The Foundation also sponsors the ICPA state conferences where they can advocate for access to education for all students. The aim is to further the Foundation’s goal of providing equal access to education for rural and regional students.
Beryl prided herself on her personal contact she had with recipients and the Board strives to continue this to and mould great ambassadors for the future.