Our Story

At Western Chances, young people are at the centre of our world. Their hopes for a better future fuel everything we do.

Our vision

To see young people in Melbourne’s western suburbs achieve their full potential. 

Our purpose

Western Chances assists motivated young people in Melbourne’s west to realise their potential by providing scholarships, opportunity programs and ongoing support.

At Western Chances we:

  • Award merit based scholarships that are targeted to young people in Melbourne’s west who have limited opportunities and financial resources.

  • Provide programs and networks that advance the talents and pathways of young people in Melbourne’s west.

  • Recognise, nurture and celebrate the talent and potential talent of young people.

  • Build partnerships that are aligned with our vision to support the sustainability of Western Chances.

Since 2004 Western Chances has:

  • Invested above $ 6.3 million in scholarships
  • Assisted over 3115 young people to overcome barriers to success
  • Awarded more than 7680 new and renewal scholarships

Western Chances Scholarship Recipients also have outstanding year 12 completion rates. See the latest statistics here.

How Western Chances began

Western Chances was established in 2003 by Terry Bracks AM. Having worked as a teacher in Victorian state schools; Terry knew the potential of young people was too often unfulfilled due to financial barriers to education.

From a grassroots organisation providing a handful of scholarships, Western Chances now awards hundreds of scholarships annually to help talented and motivated young people across the six municipalities in Melbourne’s west. Western Chances assists young people to realise their potential by providing new and renewal scholarships, opportunity programs and ongoing support. We aim to support each young person from when they receive their first scholarship throughout their education and on to employment.

Our scholarships provide funding for small items that have a big impact. Things like textbooks and tuition fees, laptops and internet access, maths calculators and MYKI cards. Our recipients face barriers that often result in an inability to purchase these essential items.

What we also give our young people is a sense of self-belief. According to Dr. James Harley, who undertook an evaluation of Western Chances a few years ago, one of the keys to our success is the ability to promote self-confidence, esteem, motivation and pride, ‘suggesting that a scholarship involves more than simply disbursing money.’

Our recipients are now establishing themselves in professions such as commerce, engineering, environmental science, marketing, medicine, and the arts. We’re so proud of the young people we’ve supported and continue to support, and the momentum we’ve achieved in 15 years.

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Western Chances scholarship recipient, female, standing in school hallway in front of lockers Western Chances scholarship recipient, male, carpenter working on a house Western Chances scholarship recipient, female, holding folder working in medical field Western Chances scholarship recipient, male, in lab with a microscope

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