PM Presents 2014 John Monash Scholarships at Gala Ceremony

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On Thursday 17th April 2014 The Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, presented the 2014 General Sir John Monash Scholarships. The Scholarships Presentation Ceremony held at The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, was attended by some 210 guests including members of the Monash family and the Cowen family, representatives of Government, the 2014 Scholars and their families, past Scholars, members of State and National Selection Panels, Directors of the Foundation, and corporate partners and sponsors of the Foundation.

In the 11th year of the Scholarships, the 2014 Scholarship winners were spectacularly accomplished.  The group included six university medallists, two who have competed for Australia in international sports, and others who have represented the nation in cultural or academic fields. It also included young managers who have played leading roles in indigenous employment, education reform, legal frameworks, and the management of cultural institutions. In the past decade 98 Scholars have been elected, all outstanding within their fields and with leadership potential and aspirations.

In his speech, the Prime Minister noted he was honoured to meet the 2014 scholars, and to hear of their individual achievements and future plans as they embark on their overseas postgraduate studies. He recognised that “the scholars are going abroad for not only themselves but for their country, and we look forward to their return to Australia to provide leadership and innovation in their respective fields of study”.

The Prime Minister noted the importance of General Sir John Monash to Australian history. He spoke about Monash as a leader in both his civilian and his military lives, and as a problem solver was integral to the Allies ultimate victory on the Western Front in the First World War.

The Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, Ms Jillian Segal AM, thanked the Prime Minister for his gracious and insightful speech.  Ms Segal acknowledged the extraordinary array of guests, including dignitaries, CEOs, Chairmen, and senior executives of Australia’s leading companies and universities.

Ms Segal spoke about the growth of the Foundation, and expansion to embrace a diversity of fields.  “John Monash Scholarships are becoming embedded in the psyche of the nation.  They are Australia’s own and synonymous with Australian leadership, as they reflect the virtues John Monash embodied so well: intelligence, resourcefulness, aspiration for the future of the nation and a focus on the welfare of the community and the Australian people.”

The Chairman noted the important symbolism of the attendance of Prime Minister at the ceremony as it was previous Prime Minister John Howard AC who contributed significantly to the launch of the Scholarships 10 years ago.  She concluded that “Monash would be very proud of what has been established in his name – and as we continue to grow and we see a generation of John Monash scholars at the helm of Australian Institutions in years to come – his vision for education and leadership will have been fulfilled.”

A record 15 scholarships were awarded from over two dozen public and private sector sponsors. These include the Australia Council, BHP Billiton, Origin Foundation, Wesfarmers, Woodside, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, the Australian and NSW Governments, many of Australia’s leading universities, and a group of philanthropic supporters. Each scholarship is worth up to $150,000 over three years.

On the previous evening, Professor David Copolov OAM of Monash University, a co-sponsor of the Australian Universities John Monash Scholarship, hosted a dinner for the 2014 Scholars.  The dinner was attended by 16 scholars including returned Scholars Lara Olsen (2004) and Davis McCarthy (2011), Foundation Chairman, Jillian Segal AM, and Chairman of the National Selection Panel, Emeritus Professor Peter Darvall AO.  The dinner was an opportunity for the elected Scholars to meet and build frienships before they commence their postgraduate studies.

For further information please contact CEO Dr Peter Binks at peter.binks@monashawards.org or telephone 03 9620 2428.