"It's really amazing. It's just relieved a lot of stress for both me and my parents."
Karanbir Sidhu was all smiles as he received one last gift from the Griffith community before heading off to university.
Mr Sidhu was one of 15 young residents, who this week received a grant from the Country Education Foundation (CEF) to support their pursuit of higher education.
Next month he starts a five year journey at the University of Wollongong, where he is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Physics.
"I'm probably going to spend the money on accommodation and probably a computer," he said.
"I didn't even know about the grant. One of my best friends told me to apply for it ... when it turned out I got it, it was just the best thing ever."
Just under $30,000 was distributed among the youthful group, money which they can spend on anything to support their studies.
As a grumpy old man, I get quite inspired by all these intelligent and aspirational young people and their goals.Craig O'Keefe, CEF Chairperson
For Elise Armanini, who is heading to Deakin University in Melbourne to study nursing, receiving the grant was "a big relief".
"I was really happy. It's such a big help getting a grant, especially when you're moving so far away from home," she said.
The grants are handed out to young locals at the start of each year, and Griffith CEF chairperson, Craig O'Keefe says it's exciting to meet the new group of applicants every 12 months.
"I get a kick out of it," he said. "You're doing something to help these young people who are travelling so far from home where it's hard to get support from their family."
"As a grumpy old man, I get quite inspired by all these intelligent and aspirational young people and their goals."
"We want to help them achieve those goals."
The money for the grants is raised entirely by the Griffith community, through fundraisers and local sponsors.
Anthony Nehme is the secretary at Yenda Producers, the major sponsor of the grant.
He says the company is proud to provide that little bit of extra help.
"It's not going to make or break them going to uni, but it's going to give them that little bit of extra support," Mr Nehme said.
"So from our point of view it's something we're going to continue doing and it's something we're happy to do."
Succesful CEF grant applicants:
- Beau Kelly, Sport & Exercise Science, University of Canberra
- Sasha Blumer, Medicine, University of Newcastle
- Jonah Fatafehi, Commerce, University of Wollongong
- Elise Armanini, Nursing, Deakin University
- Karanbir Sidhu, Engineering, University of Wollongong
- Samuel Raciti, Agriculture, Charles Sturt University
- Jackson Austin, Project Management, University of Sydney
- Joshua Golden, Exercise/Sports Science, University of Sydney
- Talissa Cerato, Education/Arts, Macquarie University
- Jaykumar Shah, Electrical Engineering, University of Newcastle
- Mea Crossingham, Security Studies, Macquarie University
- Karan Kamboj, Real Estate, TAFE
- Natalie Jefferson, Animal Science, Charles Sturt University
- Lachlan Cirillo, Cert III Electrotechnology, TAFE
- Haylee Urquhart, Biomedical Science, La Trobe University
Coleambally and Darlington Point: