Empowering people to help themselves!

Our mission

Pay It Forward Scholarships is a non-profit foundation that fosters and administers a scholarship network program.  The scholarships allow disadvantaged and down-on-their-luck adults to attend nationally recognised vocational training courses that are delivered by members of Australia’s 4,000+ nationally registered vocational colleges and other private training organisations without cost.

Scholarships are targeted at people who need help to make a change in their lives by obtaining a nationally recognised qualification or unit of competence that leads to new career options. 

Scholarship cover single units of competency or subjects that are delivered over a few days or weeks (for example, MEM13001 Perform emergency first aid), through to Certificate IV-level courses which may take six or more months to complete (such as TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment).  Although higher level courses are applicable to the program, the availability of Australian government student loans for courses at the Diploma and higher levels suggest that this scholarship program is better targeted at Certificate IV level courses and below.

Our patron, Catherine Ryan Hyde

Our patron is Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of the book “Pay it Forward”, from which the Kevin Spacey / Helen Hunt movie was made. Catherine has written over 25 books that are optimistic explorations of ordinary people, characters who are troubled or down-on-their-luck, or recovering from past difficulties or abuse.

In the following videos, Catherine explains the inspiration for writing “Pay it Forward” and what it means to her:


(Note: Pay It Forward Scholarships is not affiliated with the US-based Pay It Forward Foundation.)

Our founder, Carl Mocnik

Pay It Forward Scholarships was founded by Carl Mocnik. Carl’s passion is to empower people to help themselves, believing in the proverb that it is better to teach how to fish rather than to give a fish. He is the author of several textbooks on vocational education and training, and is the founder and managing director of Plenty Training, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) that helps around 4,000 people per year to become qualified trainers. Carl lives on the Gold Coast with his two young children.

Carl Mocnik, the founder and managing director

Carl Mocnik, the founder and managing director of Pay It Forward Scholarships