Why I support scholarships through workplace giving

Why I support scholarships through Workplace Giving

Sheila Bailey with scholarship recipient Brooke Caputo

I have worked at UniSA for over 20 years and you may know me from my role in the Alumni team. What you might not know is that during this time I have been able to financially support over 30 rural students through UniSA’s workplace giving program, by giving a small amount regularly.

I grew up in Whyalla and experienced the challenges rural students often face when moving from the country to the city for uni. After working at UniSA for a couple of years, I knew I wanted to do more to help other rural students but I couldn’t afford to donate a once-off larger gift. Instead, I knew that I could give a smaller amount more frequently and so I was one of the first at UniSA to set up regular workplace giving donations through payroll.

Each fortnight I automatically gave about the cost of a coffee a day out of my salary. This initiative allowed me to establish the Sheila Bailey Early Childhood Prize and help students who, to me, needed the extra support.

I barely noticed the difference in my pay. For example, you donate $25 each fortnight pre-tax, then the net cost is only about $16 (depending on your personal tax situation). Add this up over a year and a student can focus on their study and stress less about their financial position.

After meeting the recipients at the Scholarships and Grants Ceremony and learning about how much of a difference I was making, I increased my workplace giving donations and over the years have gone from one to four prizes that have helped over 30 students.

As well as the initial Sheila Bailey Early Childhood Prize, I have also set up the Sheila Bailey Nursing and Midwifery Prize (in honour of my late mum who was a nurse), the Sheila Bailey Physiotherapy Prize, and most recently the Sheila Bailey Architecture Prize (in honour of my late Dad who was a naval architect).

Honestly, it makes me proud to know that my contribution has helped transform these young lives.

Further information about workplace giving can be found here: https://giving.unisa.edu.au/get-involved/workplace-giving/

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