AIEF was established in 2008 in response to community demand from Indigenous families who choose to enrol their children in boarding schools.
Bringing together the government and private sector, AIEF provides scholarship funding for Indigenous students to complete Year 12 or tertiary studies, with career support to help them make a successful transition to employment.
Backed by some of Australia’s most influential business and community leaders, AIEF has grown from one scholarship student in 2008 to now supporting over 1,000 young Indigenous people from over 400 communities in every state and territory of Australia.
AIEF provides scholarships and support through its two core programs, the AIEF Scholarship Program and the AIEF Pathways Program.
The AIEF Scholarship Program provides funding that enables Indigenous students to pursue their education at leading Australian boarding schools and universities. Students supported by the program access quality education in culturally inclusive environments, where they develop the skills and confidence to fulfil their potential and make the most of their opportunities.
The AIEF Pathways Program complements the AIEF Scholarship Program by providing career support to ensure all AIEF Scholarship Students make a successful transition from school or university to further studies or employment.
AIEF operates a long-term, sustainable Indigenous education program within a framework of highly effective management, transparency and accountability.
AIEF publishes detailed Annual Reports including financial accounts and information about our programs, Partner Schools and scholarship students.
AIEF allocates 15% of income to its operating reserve and 85% to the AIEF Scholarship Fund and has spent an amount equivalent to just 2.5% of its scholarship funding on total costs to date (after other income generated by AIEF for costs is taken into account), making it one of the most efficient, low cost non-profit organisations in Australia.
Click here to find out how you can help AIEF empower young Indigenous students to shape Australia’s future.
According to the 2016 census, 47% of Indigenous 20-24 year olds reported having completed Year 12 or an equivalent qualification compared to 79% of non-Indigenous 20-24 year olds.
ABS figures show Australians with a Year 12 qualification are more likely to be employed; to pursue higher education; and to earn a higher income than Australians who do not complete Year 12.
In 2021, AIEF’s Annual Retention and Year 12 Completion Rate was 94%.
Read more about AIEF's Program Definitions here.
The AIEF Pathways Program provides one-on-one transition support to AIEF Scholarship Students in Year 11, Year 12 and beyond.
Each student works with a member of the AIEF Team to set and achieve study and career goals for a successful transition to further study or employment after secondary school.
With AIEF’s support, 67% of AIEF Alumni participating in the program made or continued a successful transition to further studies or employment in 2021. Of these alumni, 17% are pursuing tertiary studies at university or TAFE; 8% are engaged in employment or other productive pursuits; and one in five alumni in 2021 were working or studying in their home community.
I am optimistic about the future that can exist for Indigenous people if Australia shows enduring dedication to improving educational and employment opportunities, in which organisations such as AIEF continue to play a crucial role.
The AIEF Scholarship Program and the AIEF Pathways Program are supported by the Australian Government in collaboration with individual, philanthropic and corporate supporters from the private sector.