The NSW branch strategy is to build its reserves to $100,000 to provide investment income to fund its social calendar and to restrict grants made to any surpluses from each year’s events. In that context we give grants up to $10,000 a year, mainly for Tall Ships sailing experiences, Plain English Speaking, Bell Shakespeare Company, Ballet and Dance, musical scholarships and other grants made on merit.

tall_shipTall Ships awards are made each year to one or two applicants who have crewed aboard the Young Endeavour, Britain’s Bi-Centennial gift to Australia and part of the Navy fleet. The short list of candidates attend a selection interview day and luncheon, usually late November, and are assessed by the Young Endeavour Youth Training Scheme co-ordinator and several long-serving Society members. Winners are provided air fares to London and embarkation points in Europe plus social function briefings from previous awardees. They join one of the UK tall ships, mainly the Lord Nelson, in the following March period and upon return are presented with certificates from the Rear Admiral Maritime Commander aboard a Young Endeavour luncheon in May or alternatively at the Annual General Meeting of the Society in September. At that meeting, the awardees are invited to make a short presentation to the members of the Society. These grants are highly sought after and we have developed a growing cadre of awardees who we hope will one day form the nucleus of a younger Australia-Britain Society. We strongly support this unique programme that provides positive life-changing impacts on most awardees who are often invited to take up further international sailing options. Please refer to the Annual Report link for more details.

Plain English Speaking awards are made annually to finalists in the NSW secondary school system in conjunction with the English Speaking Union, and BBM. Grants total $850 per annum and are a small tangible recognition of the great value and legacy of the English language as a communication medium. Many NSW winners have also won the National finals and achieved high results in the International competition in London. One of the NSW finalists is invited to replicate the award-winning talk at the Queen’s Birthday dinner preceded by a private reception with Her Excellency the Governor. Bell Shakespeare Company, Dance, music and general cultural activities are supported depending upon funds. In 2007 a $5,000 grant was made to enable a gifted musician to take up a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Please see the grants programme under the link of the Australia-Britain Society Foundation which is a tax-deductible provider of donations and which makes grants to worthwhile causes with similar aims as Branch programmes but for larger amounts.