What We're About
The AOF’s goal is to identify outstanding young vocationally-trained Australians, and through its awards, help develop their leadership skills, and increase their knowledge and experience that is subsequently reinvested in Australian industry on their return.
Why are we here? The AOF exists because we strongly believe that supporting the personal development of outstanding young people will help our country to thrive. Australian industry can see the long term benefits of young people working overseas, honing their skills and obtaining state-of-the-art trade experience to keep Australia at the forefront of technical innovation and know-how.
- To attract award applicants who are outstanding in their fields of endeavour.
- To provide a unique opportunity for excellence, achievement, personal development and cultural experiences for award winners.
- To develop the organisation to ensure that it is financially strong and appropriately resourced.
- To build effective relationships with key organisations involved in apprenticeship and vocational training.
More About AOF
To be the peak provider of overseas awards to outstanding young vocationally trained Australians, in order to develop their leadership skills, and increase their knowledge and experience that is subsequently reinvested in Australia.
In 1956, the Victorian Overseas Foundation (VOF) was established by a group of industrialists, technical colleges and Rotarians. During 1957, the first awards were made. The VOF’s goal was to provide opportunities for young people who had completed an apprenticeship or a certificate of vocational studies or traineeship to work and study overseas in the country of their choice.
In the early 1980s, the Foundation was expanded to become national, obtained Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and renamed the Australian Overseas Foundation Inc. (AOF). The AOF embraced the view that the pace of global technology and learning was dynamic with the ongoing need for awards to be made available in the areas of craft, technical studies and trade, traineeships and technician fields.
Funding for these awards has been provided by Rotary clubs, industrial, business and trade organisations, federal and state government and individuals.
60 years of operation with over 329 awards presented to talented young Australians.
Award winners have worked in numerous overseas countries including, U.K., Germany, France, Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Canada, United States, Switzerland, France, Italy and Asia.
Recipients have made a major contribution to the success of business and industry on their return to Australia by forming their own companies, securing senior and executive management roles and lecturing and teaching.
Recipient trades: Electrical, Automotive Trades, Engineering, Building, Watchmaking and Jewellery, Plumbing, Printing, Horticulture, Aircraft Mechanics, Welding, Dental Mechanics, Hospitality, Fashion, Hairdressing, Furniture, Boatbuilding.