AuctionsPlus Market Operator Team Leader and Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) alumni, Millie George, has given back to the foundation that supported her through her studies, by inspiring a new partnership that will see AuctionsPlus work together to support regional and rural youth and communities.
Above: AuctionsPlus Market Operator Team Leader and CEF alumni, Millie (centre).
Growing up on a sheep farm 30kms from Nyngan, Millie George always saw the importance and value of a good education.
Seeing first hand the challenges of running a diverse enterprise, Ms George knew that a deeper understanding of business would be a benefit both to her personally and to her family.
As she knuckled down in her final year of high school, Ms George was introduced to the Country Education Foundation (CEF), a 20-year old institution devoted to improving the educational opportunities for kids from the country.
It was auspicious timing. After couple of hard seasons, including drought and flooding, Ms George wanted to be as little a burden on her family as possible.
Successfully completing her HSC, Ms George was admitted to a Bachelor of Business at University of New England (UNE) and was fortunate to receive a combined $5500 in grants from the CEF. She received a local grant of $1500 from CEF Nyngan, which was backed up by two scholarships through CEF’s national partnerships- $1000 from its partnership with the University of New England (UNE) Foundation, and $3000 from its partnership with Findex Community Fund.
The support she received from CEF was crucial in covering the cost of relocating to Armidale and purchasing essential textbooks. But it had a far greater impact than financial.
“My local CEF is so amazing, with the people already knowing me personally, the kindness, care and devotion they had whilst watching my journey is nothing short of amazing,” she said.
Ms George was employed by AuctionsPlus part-time during her final year of study. With her father having used the platform for livestock sales on their family farm, she decided to send in her resume and cover letter, and was offered a job.
“Within the week, I was interviewed and offered a job as a Market Operator. I started part-time from college as I finished my degree and then shortly after moved into a full-time role,” she said.
Now a market operations team leader, Ms George credits the scholarship with inspiring her approach to work.
“I believe that the support I received from CEF has greatly impacted my ‘can-do’ attitude which has allowed me to get to where I am now. I am in a job I love and have learnt to put myself out there like I did when applying for CEF.”
Now she wants to give back.
Seeing the incredible value that a CEF scholarship can leverage, Ms George has been a driving force behind a new partnership that will see AuctionsPlus work together to support regional and rural youth and communities.
Above: Millie on her family property near Nyngan, NSW.
“When we were discussing a partnership for AuctionsPlus, I thought the best program to partner with would be CEF. As a leadership team we quickly decided CEF was well aligned with AuctionsPlus in that we are able to provide opportunities which benefits our passion for regional Australia,” she said.
“As an alumni I could speak to the value of the CEF and pushed for this to be put in motion. However, it was definitely a group effort with my colleagues in the leadership team. They all share a passion for regional education.”
A national for-purpose organisation dedicated to empowering rural and regional youth in accessing education, training, and employment opportunities, CEF has awarded almost 8000 grants and scholarships to the value of over $17 million since 1993 to support young people seeking further education living in rural and regional Australia.
As well as other initiatives to be announced in the coming months, the partnership will see a special charity auction hosted on the AuctionsPlus platform in early 2024 to raise funds for CEF.
Running over the course of a week between 11th – 15th March and culminating with the launch of CEF’s inaugural annual fundraising day, the auction will feature a diverse range of items donated by both AuctionsPlus and supporters of CEF. More information, including the full auction catalogue, will be released closer to the date.
In FY23, AuctionsPlus hosted 26 charity auctions on its platform, raising over half a million dollars for a broad range of not-for-profit organisations with links to rural Australia.
For more information about the partnership between CEF and AuctionsPlus, visit this webpage.