Brisbane Grammar School has a long tradition of providing scholarship and financial aid to facilitate access to a BGS education. Needs-based bursaries have been an integral part of the School's history since 1868 and were for many years government funded. This created broad diversity within the student population and has contributed to the School's unique culture. Once government support ceased in the 1960s the School endeavoured to continue this tradition; however, with significant increases in the cost of a modern independent school education, the proportion of needs-based bursaries has progressively declined.
In recent years a number of BGS Old Boys contributed a significant sum (~ $750,000) in support of bursaries at the School. Year-groups 1943, 1966, 1979/80 and 1982 collectively contributed their support towards the provision of a needs-based bursary. These individuals, along with Jamie Pherous '85, Jim Truesdale '43 and the Heath-Huxley and Pullar families, have had, and will continue to have, a profound impact on the lives of boys who would not otherwise have had an opportunity to attend the School.
The School's approach to bursaries has evolved, with the focus now on growing the School's Endowment Fund by raising funds which will be invested in the long term, with only a small proportion of the income to be used and the capital investment preserved. This will ensure bursaries can be provided in perpetuity; Supporting Future Generations at BGS.
Brisbane Grammar School has set an ambitious goal; to grow its Endowment Fund to $20M by 2020. These funds will enable the School to maintain diversity and access through increasing the number of bursaries for students in financial need. Thanks to ever-growing support from Old Boy year-groups, this goal is on the way to becoming a reality.
Every year group is being approached to create their individual fund, and hopefully grow it over time. While each year will have different circumstances and drivers, the tremendous support this initiative has attracted will cumulatively make a significant difference. The aim is for bursarial support to become embedded in the School's DNA. The Class of 2016, who graduated just last year, and the Class of 2017, who will graduate in just a few months, have already moved to establish their own funds. Funds which they aim to grow over their lifetimes.
So far the $20M by 2020 Campaign has exceeded $1 million; with the 1943, 1962, 1963, 1966 and 1969 year groups and the P&F Association leading the way.
The importance of bursaries goes beyond assisting individual bursary recipients, and extends into BGS classrooms. Bursaries play a vital role in keeping the School diverse. A school comprised of students from all socio-economic backgrounds ensures students are open to discovering various perspectives, preparing them for a global future. Our graduates leave BGS in a better position, as men of character, living the core school values of endeavour, learning, respect, leadership, and community. Read more about the impact of a bursary here.
If you are interested in giving to the BGS Endowment Fund, taking a leadership role within your own year or would like further information, please contact the School's Fundraising Executive Petrina Gilmore.