Annual Reports

2023 Executive Report

This year, the Foundation has reached a milestone, having awarded a total of over 1,600 scholarships and fellowships to support talented individuals in pursuing their educational goals.
Four people standing shoulder to shoulder and smiling in front of a media wall.

Chairman's Report

It has been a year of change and growth for The George Alexander Foundation. 

We bade farewell to Craig Connelly, who stepped down as the Foundation's Chief Executive Officer after seven years in the role. We thank Craig for his outstanding contributions to the Foundation's work.

In March, we welcomed Paul Conroy to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Paul brings a wealth of experience from both the commercial world and the not-for-profit sector, and the Governors look forward to working with him as he leads the management of the Foundation in the years ahead.

In the past financial year (FY23), the Foundation distributed over $1.7 million to scholarship and fellowship programs at 14 institutions across Australia.

The Foundation's scholar and fellow network has continued to grow, with 76 scholars, 6 International Specialised Skills Institute fellows, and 12 Earthwatch Student Challenge fellows welcomed into our community.

This year, the Foundation has reached a milestone, having awarded a total of over 1,600 scholarships and fellowships to support talented individuals in pursuing their educational goals.

Our founder, George Alexander, hoped that the support provided by his Foundation would empower scholarship and fellowship recipients to contribute to the broader Australian community, and we are continually delighted to learn about the contributions they are making.

From an engineer helping Australian consumers understand their vehicle's fuel efficiency and emissions to a clinical psychologist creating free online resources to empower his community to care for their mental well-being, the leadership shown by our alumni in their respective fields certainly fulfills George's dream.

George would be incredibly proud to learn what our community has achieved this year.

Charles Goode AC

CEO's Report

In my first year as Chief Executive Officer of The George Alexander Foundation, it has been a privilege to contribute to the Foundation's central mission – supporting access to educational opportunities and empowering talented individuals to achieve their potential.

Earlier this year, we established the Resilient Leaders Program, a new professional development resource to support the Foundation's scholars, fellows and alumni in achieving their goals. 

The Resilient Leaders Program is a series of online workshops designed and facilitated by Wake, a part of The Reach Foundation.

Focusing on connection and capability, the workshops provide a forum for our scholars and alumni to network and develop skills for navigating their university studies and subsequent professional journeys. In August, our mid-year workshop, Burn Bright (Don't Burnout), explored activities and approaches for nurturing resilience. 

It was a pleasure to personally welcome attendees to our workshops and see scholars from our partner institutions throughout Australia connect irrespective of geographical distance.

We are now seeking, via a survey, our community's feedback and input for planning the next round of workshops. We look forward to the valuable insights we will gain through this process and continuing to refine the program's design and delivery to serve the needs of our growing scholar/fellow and alumni network.

Throughout 2023, the GAF team visited our partner institutions in 6 states, meeting new scholars and fellows and reconnecting with existing ones. We look forward to these visits and are delighted to learn about our community members' educational pursuits and future ambitions. Thank you to all who shared their stories with us.

In September, Program Manager Mairead Phillips and I travelled to Gladstone, Queensland, to join 12 Earthwatch Australia Student Challenge fellows on their expedition, “Protecting the Reef's Coastal Frontier”. Together, we learned about mangrove and salt marsh habitats and completed fieldwork activities developed by MangroveWatch, a citizen science mangrove monitoring program. Activities included surveying various indicators of Gladstone's mangrove forest health, such as plant and wildlife biodiversity, which will inform the development of management strategies to protect this habitat.

It was heartwarming to see our Student Challenge fellows, secondary school students in years 10–12, embrace this challenge, growing their scientific knowledge, self-confidence, and passion for the natural world.

Over the past decade, the Foundation has supported 392 Earthwatch Student Challenge fellows who have conducted over 15,680 hours of fieldwork, making significant contributions to ongoing research projects to conserve Australia's natural environment and species habitat.

Through this partnership, the Foundation continues its mission to contribute to a sustainable Australia by supporting environmental education and encouraging young people's commitment to environmental conservation. I look forward to hearing how this experience supports our 2023 fellows' studies and future careers.

Thank you to all our scholarship and fellowship program partner institutions for hosting the Foundation's team this year. From field trips to on-campus morning teas and award ceremonies. We are thankful for the opportunities you have facilitated that allow us to connect with our scholars, fellows, and alumni in person.

Paul Conroy
Chief Executive Officer