For many years, Beryl Neilsen OAM and her late husband John wanted to help children in regional and rural areas gain a high-quality education. While running and operating Winchester Downs, her family-run cattle property located south of Moranbah, she decided to follow up on that intention and help others.
In 2011, Beryl founded the John & Beryl Neilsen Winchester Foundation. Its work helps families cover the costs of boarding school and university, giving country children the same opportunities as those from the city.
Many of the children who’ve been supported by the foundation have gone on to become doctors, vets, physiotherapists and nurses, among other professions.
For hundreds of rural children, some opportunities may have never been possible without Beryl’s kindness, and the support of the Winchester Foundation. She was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2021 for her tireless work as an advocate of opportunities for rural children.