Request for donations for the 2023 Geoff McPherson Education Awards Program

Three young women talking with laptops

Each year Canberra Refugee Support offers Education Awards to refugee students through the Geoff McPherson CRS Refugee Education Awards Program (previously called the Geoff McPherson CRS Scholarship Program).   This program has been running for nearly 20 years, apart from in 2020 when it was postponed due to COVID.

The Education Awards are an important part of CRS’s assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, alongside the range of other assistance that CRS provides.

The Awards recognise meritorious performance and encourage and support outstanding refugee students with their education and training.  These awards have a dual purpose, in helping students (or their families) cover education costs, and in helping students feel welcomed and rewarded in their new life in Australia.

In 2023 we will again be offering Education Awards at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.  We are working with our partner organisations – The ACT Directorate of Education, Companion House, the Australian Red Cross, Canberra Institute of Technology, NAVITAS Skilled Futures, MAX solutions to identify the awardees.

This year we are hoping to provide around 40 Awards within a budget of $26,500.  Primary awards are $300, secondary awards are $500, and post-secondary awards (adults and college students) are awarded $1,000.

The CRS budget is very tight, with a range of increased pressures on refugee and asylum seeker families, and fundraising has been progressing slowly, so we seek your generosity in supporting the Geoff McPherson Education Awards program in 2023. 

We are planning to hold the Geoff McPherson Education Award Ceremony on Tuesday 20th June – World Refugee Day, a return to our lovely highlight, for awardees, their families, and donors.  The arrangements for this are not yet finalised, and we will advise of details once they are settled.  We hope many of you can join us and the awardees and their families, for this event. 

If you would like to support the Education Awards program or if you require any additional information we would be pleased to assist. Please contact Jane Lake by email (

There are several ways to make your donation.  You can contribute to the 2023 CRS Education Awards Program by making a donation through Paypal (see our website at Donate – Canberra Refugee Support) or by EFT or by cheque. See below for details. CRS is a registered charity and donations over $2 are tax deductible.  (EFT is our preferred payment method)

EFT Payment to:   Account Name: Canberra Refugee Support Inc

Bank: Westpac

BSB: 032 719

Account #:555919

Reference: Scholarships + your Name

Cheque Payment to: CRS PO Box 3444, Weston Creek ACT 2611. 

Whether you pay by Paypal, EFT or cheque, please include your name and send an email with details of your donation and address to Jane Lake so that we can provide you with a receipt.

Yours gratefully

Geoff McPherson Education Awards Committee

Canberra Refugee Support Inc.