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Corey Payne named NSW Young Australian of the Year


27 November 2012

Through his Future Directions Network, Corey Payne (centre) helps provide financial support, mentoring and careers advice for young people who might otherwise rule out university.
Through his Future Directions Network, Corey Payne (centre) helps provide financial support, mentoring and careers advice for young people who might otherwise rule out university.

University of Sydney Master of Commerce student Corey Payne has been recognised for his drive to help young people from less privileged schools and low socioeconomic areas pursue higher education through his award of the NSW Young Australian of the Year.

Corey Payne, 28, is a back rower for the Canterbury Bulldogs who juggles his postgraduate studies with top-level competition and training. In addition to this heavy workload he puts aside his personal time to act as a remarkable role model for young people who might not otherwise consider higher education.

Through his Future Directions Network which he established a few years ago Corey helps provide financial support, mentoring and careers advice for young people who might otherwise rule out university.

Corey is determined that young people on the borderline, the children of parents who didn't go to university and first-generation Australians get every chance to continue their higher education.

The Future Directions Network works in partnership with the University of Sydney's Compass program in two schools in South-west Sydney to make sure students and their families are prepared and well informed about pathways into higher education. Last year alone more than 1000 kids benefited from this partnership.

In 2011 the University of Sydney recognised Corey's outstanding contribution since he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree by awarding him our Young Alumni Award for Achievement.

This year Corey was also awarded a prestigious Churchill fellowship to research culturally diverse programs in South Africa, Spain, Brazil and the UK that inspire young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to continue their academic studies.

Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said the University was proud to work in partnership with Corey and warmly congratulated him on being named NSW Young Australian of the Year.

Dr Spence said he was an embodiment of all the University stood for: "From the very beginnings of the University of Sydney part of the DNA of our institution has been a passionate, consistent, unrelenting commitment to making a difference," Dr Spence said.

"The University applauds Corey for using his remarkable talents for the sake of others and for generating excitement about the truly transformational experience that higher education can provide."


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Media enquiries: Sarah Stock, 9114 0748, 0419 278 715, sarah.stock@sydney.edu.au