The Foundation provides a national focus for the aim of The Order of Australia Association to promote – “To celebrate and promote outstanding Australian Citizenship”.
The Foundation was formed on 29 April 1999 pursuant to a Deed of Trust settled by five Founders, being former Presidents of the Association, namely Rt Hon Sir Zelman Cowen PC AK GCMG GCVO KStJ, Hon Sir Charles Court AK KCMG OBE, Sir Eric Neal AC CVO, Sir James Gobbo AC CVO; and General Sir Phillip Bennett AC KBE DSO KStJ.
The Patron of the Foundation was Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, who, together with His Excellency Mr Michael Bryce AM AE, held a reception for all the Foundation Scholarship Awardees at Admiralty House in Sydney on 2 September 2009 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Foundation. A photo of Her Excellency and the Scholarship Awardees is attached. On that occasion, Her Excellency congratulated the past Presidents of the Association for their foresight in setting up the Foundation. She also commended the work of the present Chairman of the Foundation, Mr Hugh Morgan AC, and his Board of Directors together with the generosity of donors. Her Excellency wished the Foundation well in continuing to provide the high standard of Scholarships for the benefit of Australia.
Since its inception, the Foundation has provided 43 Scholarships covering all States and Territories. As a result of the generosity of new scholarship donors, further scholarships will be awarded in 2021. Each scholarship awardee receives a Scholarship of $40,000 for the duration of their studies to cover tuition fees, living allowance, student fees, computer needs and other educational expenses. In addition, the awardee is provided with a personal mentoring relationship with a recipient of the Order of Australia who is eminent in the chosen field of study of the awardee. The mentor provides advice to the awardee during the course of study and assists in the transition from student to professional life.