skip to content

Community supports our students

Our Student Support Fund was bolstered at the recent annual fundraising dinner held in The Gordon’s beautiful Davidson Restaurant. 

Members of the community and local organisations came together to help raise funds for students in need with many raffle prizes and auction items generously donated to support the event.

Assisting students faced with financial difficulties, the Fund allows students to overcome periods of crises and remain in their studies. Crucial to enabling our students to continue seeing a way forward with their education, the fund was established from the hardship of others. 

In 1982, the Geelong International Harvester permanently closed, leaving 680 people unemployed. Many who were retrenched retrained at The Gordon. The International Harvester Union Committee held $1,600 of union members funds, which in the trauma of the redundancies was forgotten until 1987. At this time, the former chair of the union committee Kevin Boland, and secretary Ernie Speight, sought advice from other members as to what to do with the funds. 

Drawing on his experience when retraining at The Gordon, Ernie was aware of the financial difficulties many students encountered when in pursuit of an education. Accordingly, the former International Harvester workers sought to meet with The Gordon CEO to propose the monies be utilised to establish a fund to help disadvantaged students. As a consequence, the Community and Gordon Institute of TAFE Student Support Fund was created.

To date, the Fund has helped over 4,500 students, paying out over $500,000 in its 35 years. The enduring partnership between the trade unions, The Gordon, businesses, community groups and individuals has been extraordinary in its achievements. Many struggling students have successfully completed their qualifications as a result of the Fund, going on to have very successful careers.
The Student Support Fund relies on annual fundraising efforts to continue to assist students at risk of disengaging or experiencing temporary financial hardship to complete their studies at The Gordon. To donate, contact The Gordon on 5225 0800.