Jim Stynes Scholarship

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Jim Stynes Scholarships are named after Jim Stynes in recognition of his outstanding efforts not only as a professional Australian Football player and administrator, but also as a philanthropist, charity worker and writer.

During his 264-game career with Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL) between 1987 and 1998, Stynes become the only non-Australian born VFL/AFL player to win the prestigious Brownlow Medal, which he achieved in 1991. In 2003 he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.

Following his football career, Stynes focused on youth work using his profile to launch the Reach Foundation, which he co-founded in 1994. As a result of his work with young people in Victoria he was named Victorian of the Year twice, in 2001 and 2003, and with the expanded profile of Reach nationally, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007.

Stynes also served as president of Melbourne Football Club from 2008 and was involved in fundraising efforts which brought the club out of debt. In 2009, he was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma and continued to work during his treatment for brain metastasis. He died in March, 2012.

The purpose of the Jim Stynes Scholarships is to assist in providing both a pathway to employment and a pathway to nurture/develop skills and/or talents unique in youth (15-19 years) from:

  • Multicultural backgrounds;
  • Ondigenous communities; and/or
  • Socially isolated/excluded communities.


The Federal Government has provided a corpus of $3 million to support funding between 18 and 37 scholarships per year (depending on interest earned). In addition, the AFL has committed a further $150,000 per annum. The maximum of 37 scholarships recognises Stynes’ first guernsey number for Melbourne (37). As part of the funding agreement, 25 per cent of the available funds will focus on community leadership development, supported by The Reach Foundation.


Who is eligible for a scholarship?

  • Scholarships are available to young people aged 15 and no older than 19 as at 31 October in the relevant year.
  • Potential recipients may be nominated by the president/coach of their sporting club/team, an authorised officer of a not for-profit community organisation, an employee of the AFL or an AFL state body or a board member, staff member or crew member of The Reach Foundation.

What does the scholarship cover?

  • Appropriate accredited education costs, including course fees for either year 11 and 12, TAFE or undergraduate studies.
  • Incidental study costs (text books and/or equipment).
  • Equipment needed to support a trade/skill.
  • Travel allowance and costs to compete in competitions and/or relevant leadership/education experiences.
  • Additional assistance in coaching/talent development/school or career support (e.g. tuition or mentoring).

What doesn’t the scholarship cover?

  • Fees covered by HECS/HELP.
  • Note: TAFE course fees that are designed to go on to an undergraduate degree are covered by FEE HELP

More information on the Terms and conditions, FAQs, scholarship process and panel etc can be found in the Jim Stynes Scholarship Booklet (Download here).

Registrations have now closed for 2015.

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