About the Playford Trust
The Playford Memorial Trust provides prestigious scholarships, awards and internships for high achieving students working in areas of strategic importance to the State.
It enjoys bi-partisan political support and is an independent, not-for-profit organisation operating under its own deed. Donations to the Trust are tax-deductible.
Each year, the Trust and its partners across industry, government, the education sector and the community provide close to $500,000 in scholarships, internships and awards to university undergraduates, Honours, Masters, and PhD students, as well as to students at varying levels of TAFE.
The aim is to help students make the most of their studies, achieve their potential and contribute to the State’s knowledge and research base.
The Trust’s priority areas currently include:
Advanced manufacturing and new technologies | Health sciences and enabling technologies | Water, energy and climate change | Mining and resource development | Agriculture, aquaculture and food production
The Board actively reviews these strategic priorities to reflect the South Australia’s economic strengths and imperatives.
The Trust actively encourages outstanding students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and careers. In doing so, it is supporting the Australian Government’s priorities for science, and complementing the South Australian Government’s STEM Strategy and associated programs.
The people behind the Playford Trust
The current Trust Members, under the Chairmanship of the Hon Dean Brown AO, bring extensive experience from a range of sectors and provide their services in a voluntary capacity.
The Playford Memorial Trust was established in 1983, with bipartisan support from the South Australian Parliament, to honour the memory of Sir Thomas Playford, the State’s longest serving Premier.
Its original objective, as expressed in the trust deed, was to establish ‘a fund to promote, encourage and finance research and development of projects relating to the primary, secondary and tertiary and mining industries which will be of practical use and benefit to South Australians’.
While the initial focus was on supporting PhD students studying horticulture and aquaculture – two areas of particular interest to Sir Thomas – it has since been expanded to include water, energy and climate change, advanced manufacturing and new technologies, environmental management, health sciences and enabling technologies and mining and resource development.
The Board actively review the Trust’s strategic priorities to ensure South Australia’s future needs are met.
How we’re funded
Traditionally, the Trust’s funding came from the South Australian Government and was supplemented to a relatively limited degree with donations from individuals and the corporate sector, as well as some bequests. In recent years, the Board has actively engaged with industry, university and community partners to significantly increase the number of scholarships and awards it offers, and the value of its annual disbursements.
Funds to finance the Trust’s programs now come from a range of sources, including an annual State Government grant, income from its own investment fund, contributions or sponsorships from businesses and industry associations, donations from individuals and foundations, additional grants from government, and bequests.
The State Government provides the Trust part-time administrative support from within the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The Trust itself contracts additional part-time assistance for administration of its scholarship program.
The Trust carefully invests its capital and has distributed funds to more than 400 students in the past ten years.
Sir Thomas Playford
Sir Thomas Playford was South Australia’s longest serving Premier. Leading the State continuously for more than 26 years – from 1938 to 1965 – he set an all time record of service for an Australian head of government. Many decisions made during his time in office transformed South Australia from a predominantly agricultural economy to a modern industrial state.