Damascus College Alumni Judy Brewer, Order of Australia is a farmer, an educator and an activist and she is returning to Ballarat to speak at the Bright Futures Fundraising Breakfast on Thursday 12th March at 7.30am.

This annual fundraising breakfast engages with our community to raise funds to extend the Bright Futures Scholarship to reach more than one Year 7 student each year.

Established in 2018 the Damascus College Bright Futures scholarship sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy (John Thirsk Estate), Fr Brendan Davey and Damascus College, is currently offered to one Year 7 student for the six year duration of their time at the College.  This scholarship offers a 50% tuition fee waiver and is for the purpose of supporting students and families who are experiencing financial or personal disadvantage, and who demonstrate a strong commitment to social justice activities and contribute to their local community, but may not otherwise be able to afford a Catholic education.

Our guest speaker Judy Brewer is from the Class of 1979 and is Chair of the Autism CRC and has been since its inception in 2013.

Judy said that at age 11 her parents decided that the best educational opportunity for her was to go to boarding school at Sacred Heart College.

“It was a decision they made that required a lot of sacrifices to make happen,” she said.

“I now understand what it means to have a great start to life and to have an education that opens up not just minds, but your heart as well”.

In 2017 Judy became Pro-Chancellor of Charles Sturt University and in 2019 she received a Churchill Fellowship. She is the mother to two amazing boys Harrison and Dominic and widow of the former Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer, the Australian politician and diplomat who served as leader of the National Party.

Judy is a nationally recognised speaker and writer on issues relating to neuro-diverse families. With two adult sons, one of whom is autistic, Judy has been actively involved in many autism and carer organisations and is a life member of Autism Spectrum Australia, convenor of the Autism Future Leaders program and founder of Autism Asperger’s Advocacy Australia.

Judy’s motto of “Bloom where you are planted” comes to life when you look at what she has been involved with to help others in her community.

Damascus College Principal, Mr Matthew Byrne said that Judy has made a difference in so many areas and she has led the way for so many without a voice.

“We are certainly looking forward to hearing her speak at the breakfast, on the importance of accessing education,” he said.