Links Program

In addition to awarding new and renewal scholarships to talented and motivated young people, Western Chances offers a range of excellent and potentially life changing opportunities for young people in Melbourne’s west via our education, business and community partners.

These opportunities achieve our vision of helping young people fulfil their potential and provide a holistic approach to supporting the recipients for the long term.

The opportunities offered extend the scholarship recipient's knowledge and skills, increase confidence and self-esteem and foster leadership. These are high quality experiences that the young people may not otherwise be offered, be aware of or be able to afford.

For all opportunities, please contact our Program Manager, Anne Connors on 03 8345 7813 or email on .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Victoria University

Organisation and opportunity details

Western Chances recipients who attend Victoria University are offered the $1,000 Access Scholarship for up to 4 years of study. Western Chances recipients do not need to go through the formal application process, they automatically qualify.

35 scholarships are available each year (25 Higher Education, 10 TAFE).

Benefits of opportunity

  • Additional funds to help with educational costs.
  • Automatically renewed for up to 4 years


University of Melbourne - Trinity College

Organisation and opportunity details

Western Chances scholarship recipients are offered places to participate in the week-long Young Leaders Programs (YLP) in July and December. The number of places offered varies each year according to the funding Trinity is able to access.

There is a variety of streams such as Biomedicine, Fine Arts, Science, New York Jazz Symposium etc. Available streams should be confirmed prior to recruiting candidates for each program. All streams are closely aligned to the University of Melbourne’s (UoM) New Generation Undergraduate degrees to give an idea of future study and career possibilities. Classes are on the University campus and run by UoM lecturers. All streams feature highly interactive learning, excursions and group work. The young people participate in team skills, public speaking and confidence building workshops while developing their critical and creative thinking, communication and goal setting skills.

Benefits of opportunity

  • Explore university opportunities
  • Investigate career pathways
  • Improve study skills
  • Broaden horizons
  • Meet other like minded people from around the world
  • Learn about different cultures
  • Increase confidence to pursue dreams


University of Melbourne - Ormond  College

Organisation and opportunity details

In addition to resident undergraduate and graduate students, Ormond offers a college-based program for non-resident undergraduate and graduate students.

Non-residents have the opportunity to become members of the College community, enjoy a campus experience, benefit from personal learning in small tutorials, use College facilities and resources, and participate in a wide range of social and cultural activities.

Western Chances is offered six new non-resident scholarship places each year.

Ormond’s non-resident program includes:

  • for undergraduate students new to Ormond, a five day residential experience before the start of first semester to enable students to become part of the diverse and vibrant Ormond community and to gain an understanding of College and University life
  • the same academic program that is offered to resident students, including small-group tutorials, breadth programs, Self & Society programs and academic visitor seminars
  • access to the College as a daytime 'home' on campus, including a locker for storing belongings
  • a study and work base including access to the Academic Centre

The program also includes opportunities to:

  • attend and participate in the College’s academic, breadth and other learning programs including lectures, seminars, visiting academic speakers and faculty based discussions
  • dine and socialise with other members of the College in Ormond’s historic Dining Hall five times a week 
  • participate in the College’s co-curricular activities including drama, art, and music
  • attend some College social activities including ‘smokos’ (parties), the Ormond Ball, movie marathons, Battle of the Bands, trivia nights, etc.
  • use the College’s social spaces, Academic Centre, gymnasium, and sporting facilities

Benefits of opportunity
See above


Doxa Cadetship

Organisation and opportunity details

Doxa provides unique opportunities to children and young people aged 5 – 25 years to help them achieve their potential.

The Doxa Cadetship Program provides long term financial and personal support for talented young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get them through a tertiary qualification and into a career. Over 300 young people have graduated and are now holding professional roles in some of the most significant companies in Australia and around the world. Western Chances and Doxa formed a partnership in 2013 and the first Doxa/Western Chances cadetships were awarded in 2014. Doxa Cadets are paid $7,600 per annum, in addition to the Western Chances scholarship award amount

The support Doxa provides to Western Chances scholarship recipients in University include:

  • Living allowance
  • Textbook allowance
  • Attending weekend camps
  • Professional development and mentoring
  • 8 week placement at one of their corporate partners
  • Possibility of gaining work with one of these companies

Western Chances refers its scholarship recipients to Doxa.

The number of places available annually varies and depends on the number of participating companies and the places they offer. In principle, Western Chances can refer eligible recipients for every available cadetship. The candidates are interviewed by the company for whom they will work and cadets are selected by these companies.

Benefits of opportunity 

Short and long term benefits are gained as young people are provided with professional development, personal support and industry exposure throughout their tertiary education that will create the foundation for a fantastic career. They also receive a living allowance.


Daffyd Lewis Trust and Mary Jane Lewis Foundation Scholarships

Organisation and opportunity details

Daffyd Lewis was an entrepreneur who believed in hard work and education. When he died in 1941 he left an estate valued at £700,000 to be held in perpetual trust to provide scholarships for boys for full time tertiary study. The Daffyd Lewis Trust (DLT) was established in 1942 and the first scholarships were awarded in 1943.

The Daffyd Lewis Scholarship is an equity and merit based scholarship available to young men who might not have otherwise received a University education due to limited financial resources. Approximately 20 new scholarships are awarded each year for full time degrees at any university in Victoria. Degrees in Education, Theology and the Arts are ineligible for funding (may be eligible if being studied as a pathway to another discipline).

Scholarships are awarded for 3 years and are valued at approximately $15,000 per annum. Since its inception over 70 years ago more than 1,100 scholarships have been awarded.

When the DLT was established in 1942 the boys-only scholarship was proclaimed as an ‘advance in the democracy of education’. Sixty years later the Foundation’s trustees recognised that democracy should also apply to female scholars, but they were unable to provide funds under the terms of Lewis’ will. So, the Mary Jane Lewis Foundation (MJL) was established, named after Daffyd’s second wife. MJL is reliant on the funds of donors and many former DLT Scholars were more than happy to ‘give back’ by providing a donation to set up the new trust fund for girls.

The limited corpus of MJL means that only around 4 scholarships are able to be awarded each year (recently increased from the 1 or 2 which have been awarded historically). They are valued at $10,000 per annum, are awarded for 3 years and Scholars must be studying at the University of Melbourne.

The selection process is highly competitive and candidates must be high achieving students.

Western Chances identifies candidates for the DLT and MJL scholarships, supports their applications and advocates on their behalf.

Benefits of opportunity

Short and long-term benefits are gained as young people are provided with significant financial support, some professional development, personal support via mentors when necessary. They also become part of a high achieving cohort and have regular opportunities to network.


Lord Somers & Lady Somers Camps

Organisation and opportunity details

Western Chances recipients are offered 10 places in Big Camp each year; 5 places in Boys’ Camp and 5 places in Girls’ Camp. This number may vary. The Camps are valued at $550. If participants cannot make their own way to Powerhouse in Albert Park the Lord Somers team will arrange transport. If recipients lack the required clothing and equipment the team will also arrange for these to be supplied.

Big Camps are a fun and energetic personal and team based challenge unlike any other. Big Camp challenges the perceptions that young people hold about themselves and others and brings together young people from all backgrounds for a unique, once in a lifetime experience.

Two Big Camps are run each year, one for boys called Lord Somers Camp and one for girls called Lady Somers Camp. Each camp is a specifically designed, one week program run in January.

The participants are young people between the ages of 16 to 18 years. Candidates typically:

  • Display a willingness to participate
  • Are accepting of others
  • Are prepared to take on new challenges

Only 100 boys and 100 girls are selected to take part in Big Camp each year.

Benefits of opportunity

  • Teamwork and team building skills developed
  • Increased understanding and acceptance of diversity
  • Push personal boundaries
  • Increased social connectedness
  • Increased self esteem
  • Greater understanding of own and others’ potential
  • Gain new insight into how to make a positive impact on the community

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