Recipients of the John Monash Scholarships are recognised as John Monash Scholars. 202 Scholars have been selected to date, all of whom possess significant leadership potential, are outstanding in their chosen fields and aspire to make the world a better place. John Monash Scholars are already demonstrating their value by contributing to Australia’s future as scientists, academics and business people, as well as contributors to policy in key areas such as water, health and Indigenous affairs.
Dr Maria Bilal
John Monash Scholar
ACCELERATED MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Maria is a Sydney-based doctor who is committed to meaningful youth participation and is passionate about empowering young people to live healthy lives. In her early years of university, Maria was advocating on the Post-2015 Agenda at the United Nations and representing medical students at the World Health Assembly in Geneva. She was selected to represent Australia to the 2016 Girls20 Summit in Beijing, where she was trained by international experts in organizational strategy, leadership, and communication.
Alongside graduating with Distinction, Maria has convened leadership conferences and contributed to a plethora of projects that seek to use health as a tool to empower the vulnerable. In particular, Maria has been heavily involved in advocacy for mental health on the National Youth Advisory Council for Youth Mental Health, with focus on integrating youth co-design into different aspects of mental health provision. She sits on the Board of Directors for One-Eighty, a grassroots youth suicide prevention organisation that utilises community organising to fund, develop and implement local projects. Maria is also on the Board of Directors of the Australian Medical Students’ Association, working to allow a new generation of doctors to mobilise change and engage in meaningful projects.
John Monash Scholar (Arts)
MASTER OF EARLY MUSIC
ROYAL CONSERVATOIRE OF THE HAGUE
Jonty holds a Bachelor of Philosophy with first-class honours from the University of Western Australia, with a double major in Music Studies and Music Specialist Studies. During his studies at UWA, Jonty was awarded the David Tunley Music Scholarship, the Janet Anderson Prize for Woodwind, the Royal Overseas League Travel Award, the Alex Cohen Travel Scholarship, and upon graduating was awarded the Lady Callaway Medal for Music. In 2018, he resided at St. George’s College, where he was supported by a Clough Music Scholarship. Since graduating, he has worked in Artistic Planning and Administration at Perth Symphony Orchestra, and has founded his own ensemble ‘St. Andrew’s Baroque’, specialising in eighteenth-century historical performance practice. In February of 2019, he directed two original productions as part of the Perth Fringe Festival, both of which received critical acclaim. Jonty is in demand as a flautist, singer and educator, and regularly performs with the Giovanni Consort and St. George’s Cathedral Consort. He also works with a range of community ensembles. In 2020, Jonty will enrol in a Master of Early Music (Traverso) at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia John Monash Scholar
DPHIL IN ENGINEERING SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Alli is a Civil and Environmental Engineer pioneering sustainability in the construction industry. She graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with First Class Honours and has worked with Lendlease for over 5 years. Alli drives project-based social and environmental change. Recently, she established significant Indigenous engagement in the supply chain of a $213 million wharf upgrade for the Australian Defence and a $75 million rail upgrade for TfNSW. Alli is a proud member of the Redfern Tribal Warrior community, for whom she managed the development of a Homework-Help Hub.
Alli worked and studied in Southeast Asia for over 14 months as the 2017 New Colombo Plan Fellow for Vietnam and was a 2019 Delegate for the Australia-Vietnam Young Leadership Dialogue. With her John Monash Scholarship, Alli intends to complete a DPhil in Engineering Science at the University of Oxford. Her focus with be on sustainable investment modelling. This model will be tomorrow's tool for future change makers of the construction industry.
Bob Hawke John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF LAWS
Chloe is a proud Wilman Noongar woman who grew up in Perth. She holds a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours. Chloe was the first Aboriginal person to graduate from Curtin University’s Law School in 2015, and was admitted to the Supreme Court of WA as a Lawyer in 2017. After practising commercial law with a focus on energy and regulation, Chloe moved into Heritage at BHP to understand how the mining industry can work with communities to protect and prolong Aboriginal heritage sites across tenure. In parallel to her career development, Chloe has actively engaged with organisations across WA on their reconciliation initiatives, to fulfil a personal interest in the role that private organisations can have in advancing social policy. Chloe is interested in the intersection of law and policy relating to reform targeted at improving the social and economic outcomes of Indigenous Australians. With the John Monash Scholarship, Chloe will pursue a Master of Laws at Columbia University, focusing on human rights and comparative studies.
Tim Fairfax AC John Monash Scholar
PHD IN ENGLISH LITERATURE AND PLAYWRITING
Nicholas Duddy is a writer and theatre-maker from the Adelaide Hills. In 2018, he graduated from the University of Adelaide with First Class Honours in English and Creative Writing, and a University Medal. He is now completing his Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Performance at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.
Nicholas is passionate about connecting the creative arts with communities. He has volunteered with the Australian Refugee Association and The Smith Family. With his John Monash Scholarship, Nicholas will pursue a PhD in English Literature. In the future, he hopes to combine his interests in writing and teaching, storytelling and scholarship, art and academia.
Roden Cutler NSW John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF LAWS
Brooke is a part of a team of dedicated lawyers at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) using strategic litigation to advance the rights of vulnerable Australians. She was Associate to the Hon Robert French AC, Chief Justice of the High Court, and worked as a solicitor for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency in Katherine, NT.
Brooke holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University, where she was awarded the University Medal for Law. Brooke plans to use a Monash Scholarship to pursue a Masters of Law at Columbia University, where she will study how innovative strategies used by American public interest organisations could be successfully deployed in Australia.
Lee Liberman John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF MEDIA, ARTS & SCIENCE
MIT MEDIA LAB
Jessie Hughes is an internationally-recognised Australian new media artist and creative technologist, her works having exhibited most notably at Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, Tate Modern, and Cannes Film Market. In 2016, Hughes was named one of Australia’s Future Changers by the Foundation for Young Australians for her commitment to using digital innovation for positive social impact. Hughes has designed and implemented solutions for tech-giants such as Oculus, Facebook, and Adobe, and has been featured in over 70+ media articles across radio, newspaper and TV. Hughes is a Winston Churchill Fellow, Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artist Fellow and a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Innovation Talent.
Jessie intends to complete her Masters in the US, where her studies will explore the most advanced approaches to society and technology. Her focus will address how she can lead the design of systems, media, and tools to improve the livelihood of Australians through creative innovation and emerging technology.
Wesfarmers John Monash Scholar
DPHIL IN ENGINEERING SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Thomas is a West Australian having grown up in Roleystone amongst the Perth hills.
Thomas holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Business Management and a Master of Professional Engineering with Distinction (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) from The University of Western Australia. During his time at University, Thomas performed multiple professional roles including founding and operating a personal training, nutrition and gym consultation business. Thomas also coordinated several tutors and concluded his University experience by lecturing Control Systems Engineering to fellow Master of Professional Engineering students. The unit achieved excellent reviews and was described as the 'best run unit in the Masters degree'.
Thomas was awarded the Valedictorian of his Masters cohort having been ranked the number one student across all Engineering disciplines at The University of Western Australia. Immediately after University, Thomas became a Graduate Electrical Controls Engineer at BHP’s Yandi mine site, followed by a Graduate Project Engineer with Asset Projects and became partly responsible for the delivery of a complex Water Treatment Facility - the first of its kind in Australia. Thomas now works as a Project Study Specialist and plans a range of significant projects in BHP’s Western Australian Power portfolio.
John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF PUBLIC POLICY
Tess has a Bachelor of Arts/Laws (First Class Honours) from the Australian National University. In 2017, Tess moved to Darwin to work as the associate to Hon. Justice Hiley in the Northern Territory Supreme Court. Since then she has been a policy officer at Danila Dilba, an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Darwin, where she is focused on progressing legislative and policy reforms to address systemic issues clients face that cut across the health and legal systems.
Tess has played a key role in developing and refining the health justice partnership between Danila Dilba and Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission (NTLAC), where was based on a part-time secondment in 2019. In this role, she represented children in detention, advocating for improved conditions in the wake of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT and exploring the best model to meet their overlapping health and legal needs.
Tess and her family established the John Skipper Kelly Fund ('JSK Fund'), a charitable trust fund in memory of her late father to support disadvantaged youth to develop skills to drive social change. Tess coordinates fundraising events, including completing several ultra-marathons to raise funds for this cause. She is currently organising a gala Ball ‘the JSK Ball’ in Sydney in May to celebrate the 10th year of the JSK Fund.
Tess plans to use her John Monash Scholarship to study a Masters of Public Policy at the Kennedy School, where she will further develop her skills and knowledge regarding health justice collaboration, law and policy development.
John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
CITY UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
Rob holds a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma in Languages from the University of Melbourne and is completing a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with the University of New South Wales. His focus is on social enterprises and leveraging business to achieved social change. Rob has worked across corporate and operational strategy roles, in digital transformation consulting and has run an ethical travel business.
With his John Monash Scholarship Rob will complete a Master of Entrepreneurship at City University’s Cass Business School in London. Through his studies, Rob will enhance his skills to run high-impact, high-growth social initiatives that address Australia’s structural inequalities, with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights.
Dr Matthew Lennon
Tim Fischer John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF NEUROSCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Matt is a doctor working in Wagga Wagga, NSW where he lives with his wife Gabrielle and daughter Florence. He graduated from medicine at UNSW with the University Medal and Class I Honours in Neuroscience. Following completion of his degree he has been working with the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing to explore epidemiological and genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's Dementia.
Matt is undertaking a Masters of Neuroscience at Oxford University and plans to use the knowledge and skills acquired to bring better dementia research, therapeutics and care back to Australia. Through university he started Springboard Education, a charitable tutoring organisation, that has provided free tutoring and educational resources to thousands of students in rural Australia.
He has worked extensively within the Australian Medical Association writing and enacting policy as well as for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing working to resolve challenges in Aged Care for rural and remote Australia. Matt has performed with the Sydney Philharmonic Choirs at the Sydney Opera House. His other interests include rugby union, running triathlons, writing poetry and performing with guitar.
John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF PEACE, CONFLICT AND SECURITY
UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD, UK
Eva has worked in campaigning for social change across her professional career so far, starting initiatives in areas like international development, environment and waste. For her work, Eva has been recognised as one of the 2018 100 Women of Influence and as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia fellow for 2019. Eva graduated Deakin University with a Bachelor of International Studies and First-Class Honours in Middle East Studies.
With this scholarship, Eva will study a Masters of Conflict, Security and Development at the University of Bradford, hoping to understand the dynamics of peace and security on Australia’s future in a rapidly changing world, and their implications on shared global challenges.
Zelman Cowen John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
INSEAD BUSINESS SCHOOL (SINGAPORE)
Michael is a diplomat with a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University. He recently served in Lima, where he covered Australia’s political and economic interests in Peru and Bolivia and managed the Embassy’s public and media relations. Since joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2014, Michael has worked on trade agreements with Peru, Hong Kong, Indonesia and India, disarmament policy, and Australia’s relations with South America. He previously practised as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer in Sydney. Michael is pursuing an MBA to bring a deeper understanding of business to Australia’s economic diplomacy and help adapt it to a fast changing global economy.
Dr Prashanti Manchikanti
Helen and Michael Gannon John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN SOCIETY AND HEALTH: SOCIAL EPIDEMIOLOGY
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Prashanti holds a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery (Honours), Bachelor of Medical Science (First Class Honours) and a Diploma in Languages (French) from Monash University. She was awarded an academic medal for her Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine from James Cook University. She currently works as a general practitioner (FRACGP) in a remote community in the Northern Territory.
With her John Monash Scholarship, she intends to study for an MSc in Social Epidemiology at University College London. She hopes to gain knowledge to work at the intersection of policy, public health programs and clinical practice to address the social determinants of health.
Dr Luke Milross
Roden Cutler NSW
John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF RESEARCH (TRANSPLANTATION)
Luke holds a Bachelor of Medical Science from the University of Sydney and an MD from the University of Notre Dame, Sydney. He worked at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. Luke has a deep interest in immunology, organ donation and transplantation.
With his John Monash Scholarship, Luke will build on his skills in research, clinical medicine and public policy with the hope of increasing access of Australians to life-altering transplants, addressing suffering whilst on the wait list and optimising quality of life for those that do undergo transplantation.
On return, Luke plans to undertake physicians training and pursue a clinical career in thoracic medicine and clinical immunology. He will then continue to research and educate on the many and growing applications for immunology in clinical medicine.
John Monash Scholar
PHD IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Ruth has a Bachelor of Philosophy (Science) with 1st Class Honours and the University Medal from the Australian National University. She is fascinated with the physics governing the Earth’s ocean, ice, and atmospheric systems, and seeks to improve our capacity for modeling and observing these systems as they respond to climate change. The under-observed, tricky to simulate, yet globally influential Antarctic region is her particular interest. Ruth’s Honours research involved using simulations to study how meltwater from the Antarctic Ice Sheet impacts ocean circulation near Antarctica and the transport of heat to ice shelves.
She is currently employed as a researcher at Princeton University under the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) project, where she uses autonomous observation systems and simulations to investigate physical and biogeochemical processes in the Southern Ocean. From September, she will continue to study Antarctic and Southern Ocean phenomena as a PhD student at Caltech.
Ruth regularly surfaces from the Earth in her computer to appreciate the Earth around her, and especially enjoys hiking, rogaining, yoga, and scuba diving adventures.
John Monash Scholar
PHD IN QUANTUM PHYSICS
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Ryan grew up in country Victoria. He is the first person in his family to attend university, where he developed a drive to contribute to the community through scientific pursuits and increasing participation of students in STEM. He intends to undertake a PhD at Cambridge’s Atomic, Optical and Mesoscopic Physics group.
Ryan’s research looks at the capability of Quantum computing, which if fully realised, will dramatically increase the ability to run complex algorithms, which would immediately enhance the predictive power of the finance, meteorology and epidemiology spheres. Ryan plans to bring these novel technologies to market and help cement Australia’s place in the coming quantum revolution. Following his PhD studies, he plans to move back to Australia and work with one of the groups connected to Cambridge’s Atomic, Optical and Mesoscopic Physics group who are pursuing quantum information processing research, such as Defence Science & Technology Group or the Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology. He hopes to eventually move into government to the office of the Chief Scientist.
Ryan has co-developed and led two scientific outreach programs in 2017 and 2019. The programs ran at seven schools, reaching over 600 students from kinder to VCE. He represented the University of Melbourne at the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering in 2017, was a summer research Scholar at the ANU in 2017 and worked along Nobel laureates at the Canberra International Physics summer School in 2018. As a Melbourne University Global Scholar, he engaged with leading scientists from Harvard and MIT to identify ways that quantum technology could shape Australia and the world.
Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation John Monash Scholar
PHD IN BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING
Samuel is currently completing a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering with Honours from the University of Newcastle. In August 2020, Samuel will commence a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Brown University, in the field of Brain Computer Interface Neuroprosthesis, to develop new technologies for neurally controlled assistive devices. Samuel has worked as a research and development engineer, and as a contractor at the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). There, he facilitated testing of electric motors for a fully electric, sustainable aircraft. For this work, he was awarded the University of Newcastle Intern of the Year Award (2018). Samuel is passionate about inspiring young engineers, which he has achieved through his presentations at several University events, and public engagement campaigns.
From a young age, Samuel has been focused on giving people living with a spinal cord injury, amputation, stroke, or degenerative disease a second grasp on life through the implementation of Brain Computer Interface Neuroprosthesis. He observed the dramatic difference these devices can make in the ability of patients at the University of Pittsburgh’s Rehabilitation and Neural Engineering Laboratory in 2017. He is excited to further develop these devices into a clinically viable solution to improve the lives of thousands of Australians, and more the world over
Victorian John Monash Scholar
MASTER OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
SCIENCES PO PARIS
Joel completed a Bachelor of Politics and International Studies (Honours), where his thesis on peace-building and counter-insurgency in the Middle East earned him the prize for top honours student. He currently works on foreign policy in the federal government. He has held previous roles covering counter-terrorism and internet and technology policy. Prior to government, Joel worked on business growth in an early stage tech start-up and spent time in Geneva focusing on lethal autonomous weapons (‘killer robots’).
Joel will travel to Paris to undertake a Masters in International Security at Sciences Po. After his post-graduate degree, Joel plans to return to Australia to work on technology, security and prosperity.
BHP John Monash Scholar
DPHIL IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY FOR FUTURE MANUFACTURING
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Dylan has a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours) with the University Medal and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Sydney. He plans to undertake a DPhil in Inorganic Chemistry for Future Manufacturing at the University of Oxford to investigate the application of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for sustainable energy alternatives as a first step towards leading global policy development to begin fuelling the world from clean hydrogen.
As a materials chemist, Dylan’s research to date has been published in international peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Communications, and presented at international conferences in the field of MOFs. In the legal sector, Dylan works at Clayton Utz and has captained the world champion Australian team at the 2018 INC Negotiations Competition in Tokyo.
Passionate about education, Dylan has been actively increasing access for regional centres to enrichment and STEM programs as a leader of the da Vinci Decathlon and with the National Indigenous Science Education Program. Through mentorship of high school students, Dylan encourages problem solving and creative thinking as a multi-international champion Future Problem Solver and by founding the workshop program Designing Minds. Dylan is also a multi-national champion percussionist and enjoys orienteering through Australia’s diverse natural landscapes.