AVCAT fights for funding

The children and grandchildren of veterans are less likely to attend university or TAFE college than the general population. Few people outside the veteran community are aware of how the ongoing effects of conflict can sometimes manifest in poor educational outcomes for children and grandchildren in veteran families.

Almost everyone has seen the effect of conflict and operational service on veterans through friends and family, or the broader community and the news, documentaries, movies and books. Movies like The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), The Deer Hunter (1978) and American Sniper (2014) invite audiences to witness and share in the veteran experience, and anyone who has seen the movie The Hurt Locker (2008) will not forget the haunting supermarket scene.

What the non-veteran community is less exposed to are the stories and lives of children and grandchildren in veteran families, trying their best to thrive in a life sometimes complicated by the veterans’ post-service struggles.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the difference between the prevalence of mental health disorders, financial difficulties, unemployment rates and poor educational outcomes of the children and grandchildren of veterans compared with the general population. This is where AVCAT steps in.

The purpose of AVCAT is to help the children and grandchildren of veterans succeed in their tertiary education. There are many young people striving to succeed, despite the complications brought about by the defence service of their parent or grandparent. In fact, more than half of the applicants for a tertiary scholarship received by AVCAT are unsuccessful because there are not enough scholarships to go around.

Students who apply for an AVCAT scholarship have many things in common, a home-life impacted by the military service of a parent or grandparent, a high level of deservedness, and a determination to succeed and graduate from their tertiary course. But they also face one of the leading causes of student dropout – financial difficulties.

AVCAT provides students with a scholarship across three years of tertiary study. Students who receive an AVCAT sponsored scholarship have a higher completion rate of their tertiary degrees (86%) compared to the national average (73.5%).

AVCAT scholarships sponsored by ex-service organisations and private individuals make up about 60% of AVCAT scholarships. AVCAT faces a growing need for funding.

The purpose of AVCAT is to reduce the financial stress of tertiary education. By receiving a scholarship recipients have more opportunity to focus their time and energy on their studies, and increase their chance of academic success.

We do remember them, we do support them, and we ask you to stand with AVCAT and support them too.


AVCAT is actively seeking new private and corporate donors so that more children and grandchildren of veterans can graduate with a tertiary education. For information on how to include AVCAT in your workplace giving, how to make a donation, or other ways you can help young people succeed contact AVCAT at avcat@dva.gov.au or on 02 9213 7999.

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