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.