Apply to the Mary MacKillop Catholic School Access Fund

The Mission of the MacKillop Catholic School Access Fund (MacKillop Fund) is to provide access to Catholic education for students in the Archdiocese of Brisbane from families experiencing significant financial hardship.

Current bursary recipients include families with major ill health, disability, trauma, extreme poverty or family break-down. The Fund was created in 2014 and is able to accept a small number of new applicants each year. Our hope is to continue to expand the Fund in the years ahead to enable support for a significantly larger number of bursaries for deserving families.

How a MacKillop Fund Bursary works

Where a MacKillop Fund Bursary is given to a family:

  • The bursary covers tuition, fees and camps for each year of primary school tuition or each year of secondary school (immersion trips to foreign countries are excluded)
  • The school provides all stationery, texts and resource materials, including a laptop if required
  • The school supplies one full set of uniforms, excluding hat and shoes.
  • The parents provide a weekly financial contribution in an agreement negotiated with the school.

The MacKillop Fund commits to funding a child through the completion of the stage of school that they enroll in. For example, a primary school child will be funded through to the end of Year 6 as long as the family is in need of the assistance. If a child is awarded a secondary school bursary he or she will be funded through to the end of Year 12 as long as the family is in need of the assistance.

Eligibility & Selection Process

The decision about a bursary is made on the basis of a demonstrable, means-tested inability to afford a Catholic education. Support from the fund is not dependent on academic ability of the student.

An expression of interest form should show:

  1. A demonstrated inability to afford the fees at a Catholic school, eg the family has a health care card.
  2. The family is supportive of the ethos, values and mission of Catholic education

Bursaries are awarded based on the funding available and the cases which demonstrate the greatest need. The provision of supporting financial documentation is necessary before any expression of interest form, or renewal of bursary, can be processed. Special consideration may be given to students who are socially, culturally, spiritually or emotionally disadvantaged.

The deadline for the expression of interest form is 1 October in the year prior to anticipated enrollment. Late expressions of interest may be considered, dependent upon availability of funds.

The Fund does not subsidise families currently enrolled in Catholic schools, rather, the aim is to help families for whom a Catholic education for their children is far beyond their reach. The criteria is limited to families not currently enrolled in the Catholic system or those heavily burdened by the transition into secondary Catholic schooling. If you would like to enquire about financial assistance for a child who is currently enrolled in Catholic School please contact the Principal of your school.

To complete an expression of interest form click here. A copy of your health care card will be requested at a later date. Expressions of Interest for 2021 are now open.


A discernment committee has been established to consider expressions of interest on a strictly confidential basis. The names and details of students who apply for or are awarded bursaries are not publicly revealed. You may view the Archdiocesan privacy policy here.