Funds are now flowing from the Powell Legacy Fund to support the next generation with their education, volunteerism and agricultural pursuits.
Timboon P12 School students Heidi Stansfield and Ben Matthews have become the first recipients of 2021, following Tate Tregea-Copeland and Brianna Thompson’s successful applications late in 2020.
Ross Powell, 71, and son Andy Powell, 32, were life-long members of the Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club (PCSLSC) and were very active in the CFA and SES. They were also prominent figures in the local dairy farming industry.
Two years ago this Easter, they tragically died after their boat flipped during the rescue of a 30 year-old man from the entrance of the Sherbrook River near the Twelve Apostles.
Last Easter, the Powell family, along with the community, made substantial donations to establish the fund. Federal Member for Wannon Dan Tehan also announced an additional $100,000 contribution from the Federal Department of Education and Training.
The Powell Legacy Fund is being administered by the DemoDAIRY Foundation which is already structured as a charity and set up to manage grants and scholarships.
Tate, 20, said surf club president Scott McKenzie had encouraged him to apply and he was honoured to receive $3000 a year for two years to help with costs at La Trobe University where he was majoring in economics and professional writing.
“Ross was one of my first captains when I started at the surf club as a 14 year-old and I knew Andy through my involvement with surf boat rowing,” he said.
“Both of them are an inspiration to young people in our community and I’ve been trying to follow their example as best I can.
“I remember clearly that Easter Sunday at Port Campbell when it really hit us…their loss is very much still being felt today and these Powell Legacy Fund scholarships are a very fitting way to keep their legacy alive and to honour two great men.”
Brianna, who is studying her Bachelor of Nursing, also grew up around the surf club in addition to being heavily involved in local dance schools, netball and swimming.
“Throughout my involvement in the surf club I had the great honour to personally know Ross and Andy and learnt many valuable life lessons and skills from them both,” she said.
“This scholarship will help me to further my education, so that one day I am able to return home and give back to my community.”
Timboon P12 School principal Davin Reid said Heidi was a very active community member who was involved with the Timboon Demons, the local cricket club, Dance Elite studio in Port Campbell and Timboon parkrun.
“Heidi has involved herself in all aspects of school life and taken on leadership roles. She is taking a gap year and will begin her Bachelor of Forensic Science in 2022,” he said.
“She has always represented herself, her family and the Corangamite community in an outstanding fashion.”
Mr Reid, who sits on the Powell Legacy Fund selection sub-committee, said Ben was a passionate volunteer at the surf club, was heavily involved in local sport and had also held several leadership roles.
“He has been our school captain and intends to study science at Deakin in 2022 after also taking a gap year. Ben is a great community member and leader and a worthy recipient of the Powell scholarship.”
Fund facilitator Chris Hibburt said the Powell family, the surf club and the community were proud that scholarships were hitting the ground and supporting young people to thrive.
“It is such a fitting legacy of Ross and Andy’s tireless volunteerism in their community and it’s wonderful the vision for the fund has been realised with successful applicants,” he said.
“We encourage school leavers pursuing post-secondary education to look into, and apply for, a Powell Legacy Fund scholarship which offers up to $3000 annually for up to three years.”
More information, including application forms and criteria is available via the DemoDAIRY Foundation website www.demodairy.com.au/powell-legacy-fund