Links Program

In addition to awarding new and renewal scholarships to talented and motivated young people, Western Chances facilitates 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 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 access, 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 in senior secondary school 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


Trinty College residential scholarships 

Recipients planning to study at The Unversity of Melbourne are able to apply for a residential scholarship to Trinity College.  In general terms, scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need, academic excellence, personal qualities and the student’s likely contribution to the College community.

Candidates should therefore possess an outstanding academic record or academic potential, a strong commitment to learning, personal development and community service and the intention to contribute to the College community and respect for our values of excellence, diversity and community.


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

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 $10,000 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 Mary Jane Lewis scholarships are valued at $10,000 per annum, are awarded for 3 years.

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 $575. 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 16.5 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


The Institute for Enquiring Minds

Organisation and opportunity details

The Institute for Enquiring Minds is an educational initiative dedicated to helping under-resourced school students improve their maths skills. Our goal is to increase participation in advanced secondary school maths by providing free mathematical mentoring to financially disadvantaged students.  We award scholarships to deserving high school students based on financial need and a desire to learn. These are The Institute's scholars. Their scholarships grant them a term's worth of mentoring from one of our volunteer mentors.

Benefits of opportunity

We believe by working one-on-one with enthusiastic experts, young people can be helped to reset their mathematical self-belief and expectations of success.

We recruit volunteer maths wizards, The Institute's mentors, from among the best under and post graduate maths students, as well as from industry and retirees. Students with a hunger to learn work intensively with passionate experts, there because they love doing and sharing maths. Our mentors commit to at least a term's worth of 2 hours per week.  We procure interesting safe spaces in which to host our mentor/scholar pairs. These spaces are where the magic happens.


Spark Engineering

Organisation and opportunity details

Spark Engineering Camp is a not for profit, Youth Without Borders initiative that provides an opportunity for 100 years 10-12 high school students to experience university life and see what engineering has to offer. Over the 5-7 day camp students stay on university grounds at a residential college, with activities planned throughout the city. The camp targets school students from non-traditional backgrounds to engage in university life, in particular introducing the directions that engineering can take their future. Due to the support of our incredible partners and our volunteer staffing team we are able to run the camp free of charge to our students.

Benefits of opportunity

Students who attend Spark will be given the opportunity to get involved in a variety of activities showcasing what university is all about, ranging from hands-on engineering activities through to inspiring talks from students and industry leaders. To ensure the best experience possible for all our students, our activities are updated each year, but we aim for each student to finish the week inspired and empowered to pursue further study. The staffing team on Spark are university students who have volunteered their time to mentor our students and give them a first hand experience of university life.


VCE Summer School

Organisation and opportunity details

Many students from around Victoria never get a chance to go to university simply because of where they live or go to school. Held at the University of Melbourne, VCE Summer School exists to alleviate educational disadvantage in Victoria through our two week headstart program for year 11 and 12 VCE students, primarily targeted at students from disadvantaged or under-represented schools. Over the two week program, students are tutored by qualified teachers and university-age students in the skills they need to study, learn and succeed in VCE. The aim of the VCE Summer School program is to give students from disadvantaged, low socio-economic and refugee backgrounds a head start on their final years of secondary education.

Benefits of opportunity

VCESS focuses on giving students the tools to excel in years 11 and 12 across all facets of their life, not just academia.

The classes offered in each subject allow students to gain an advantage on their studies, and having university-aged tutors and teachers means that students are able to gain insights into their subjects from those who have excelled in their studies and remember what it is like to be students. Additionally, the small class sizes at VCE Summer School (over 60% of classes in 2017 contained 10 students or fewer, and classes have a maximum of 15 students) and optional one-on-one tutoring means that students are easily able to seek out their tutors for extra help.  Extensive activities and workshop program means that students can learn new skills and gain an insight into what life might be like beyond high school.


RMIT Laptops

Organisation and opportunity details

15 Students who are enrolled in first year study full-time at RMIT, can demonstrate financial and educational disadvantage, and need a notebook computer in order to study, will be provided with a grant to purchase a new laptop.

Ticket Giveaways

Western Chances secondary and tertiary recipients and alumni are offered tickets to cultural and sporting events including art exhibitons, concerts, festivals and football matches.

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