Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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    Ellen Koshland, courtesy of Ellen Koshland.


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Koshland, Ellen

United States
Community advocate, Director and Poet


Ellen Koshland is the founder and president of the Education Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to stimulate new thinking about public education in Australia and fund innovative student projects in public schools.


Ellen Koshland established the Education Foundation in 1989 to encourage community involvement in state schools that would contribute to a quality public education system and improve learning and life outcomes for young people. The Foundation works with other charitable foundations, businesses and individuals to fund programs that actively support students to develop their talents and foster a love of learning. The Foundation, under Ellen's leadership, has raised more than $10 million to fund over 500 programs changing the lives of many thousands of state school students and teachers. It now operates on a national scale in all states of Australia and, in 2008, became a permanent division of The Foundation for Young Australians.

Originally from the United States, Ellen was inspired by her grandfather, Daniel E. Koshland, who established the San Francisco Foundation. She moved to Australia in 1973. Already considering possibilities in philanthropy but unsure of how to begin, an approach by Jill Reichstein and a meeting with women from the Victorian Women's Trust motivated Ellen to establish the Education Foundation.

Ellen Koshland served as the Victorian Co Chairperson of Anti Poverty Week in 2007 and is currently an Education Ambassador for the Melbourne Community Foundation and a Director of The Foundation for Young Australians.

In keeping with her interest in literature, she acted as judge for the Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction in 2006, and the CJ Dennis Prize for Poetry in 2007.

Digital resources

Ellen Koshland
Ellen Koshland


Barbara Lemon

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National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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ISSN 2207-3124