I hope this finds all of you safe and well at this ‘peculiar’ time. I have adopted the adjective ‘peculiar’, as it was expressed in a recent email from our 2020 BHP John Monash Scholar Dylan Sherman. I have decided to adopt it (thanks Dylan) as it is such a nice change from the more negative terms more commonly used such as ‘challenging’ – which these times certainly are. I like the inquiring tone of ‘peculiar’ which also incites one to contemplate both the issues and the opportunities. While there is so much complexity to be dealt with across all sectors of society and so many are facing great difficulty and adjustment to so many drastic changes in what we consider our normal lives, this adversity is also a time for creativity and innovation. There are always positives to focus on.
A number of Scholars are working at the front line of the pandemic including: Dr Mark Schembri (2009) treating patients at the Prince Alfred in Sydney, engineer and inventor Dr Harrison Steel (2016) is working on two ground-breaking projects to combat the spread of COVID-19 and Dr Victoria Cox (2015) currently based in the NT as a junior doctor in the Emergency Department of Royal Darwin Hospital.
19 Scholars are overseas currently completing their degrees under our support and we have been most concerned for their well being and the impact COVID-19 is having on their studies. All the universities have moved to online classes so for many Scholars it has been preferable to return home, particularly those in campus accommodation. All Scholars are confidently completing their programs and research online. We are in close contact with all our Scholars and checking on their welfare. Fortunately everyone who needed to be home has safely done so and those still overseas are safe and secure. We are grateful for the robust connectivity across our Scholar communities in various locations and that they are keeping in regular contact with each other and us. Quarantinis – aka nibble and drinks by Zoom for small groups of Scholars – are operating well.
The John Monash Scholars Public Lecture scheduled for 18th March, designed to consolidate some of the thinking from the Symposium and keep the intellectual discourse moving, has unfortunately had to be postponed until further notice. However, the University of Melbourne podcast team for Pursuithave recorded a discussion as part of their Eavesdrop on Expertsseries with Dr Amy McLennan and Dr Davis McCarthy who were to be on the public lecture panel. Keep an eye out for a notice when this goes live in the next few weeks, it is sure to be a fascinating conversation.
A few weeks ago we set up an initiative called MonashMindswhich I hope you will have seen. This is a weekly bulletin to share news from our John Monash Scholars to give you all something positive and uplifting to read – a welcome relief from the pandemic gloom. Please share among your friends and colleagues.
Enjoy the stories following and stay safe and positive.
Presentation Ceremony of the 2020 John Monash Scholarships
On Tuesday 11th February, our inspiring cohort of 2020 John Monash Scholars were presented with their Scholarship Certificates by His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and the Foundation’s Patron-in-Chief, at a special ceremony held at Queens Hall, Parliament House Melbourne.
Picture: 2020 John Monash Scholars with Jillian Segal AO, Foundation Chairman
Absent: 2020 Australian Universities' John Monash Scholar Ruth Moorman
Introducing our Latest Video on the John Monash Scholarships
Watch our new video featuring John Monash Scholars and valued Foundation supporters including including Judge Frances Millane, Sandy Benjamin OAM and The Hon Ted Baillieu AO to understand why an investment in John Monash Scholarships is important for the future prosperity of our nation.
“The Monash Foundation and the scholarship program gives me that opportunity to say to younger, enthusiastic, intelligent, capable individuals ‘you’re there, get on with change, I’m right behind you’ and this is the best investment I can make.” Judge Frances Millane, Chairman’s Circle Member
Receptions welcoming 2020 John Monash Scholars at Government House Adelaide, Western Australia and Sydney
Several of the Foundation's 2020 John Monash Scholars were welcomed in intimate receptions, each warmly hosted by the Governors of NSW, WA and SA. These joyous occasions introduced the 2020 John Monash Scholars from each state in the company of the Foundation's friends, supporters, volunteers and alumni.
Click on the links below to read more about each state's reception and the Scholars in attendance.
We would like to thank the generosity of the Governor of NSW Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, the Governor of WA His Excellency The Honourable Kim Beazley AC and the Governor SA His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC for hosting these receptions.
2017 Helen and Michael Gannon John Monash Scholar Dr Ling San Lau presents in Jordan on refugee communities
Picture: Dr Ling San Lau presenting at the launch event for the report.
Since completing a Master of Public Health at Columbia University with the support of her John Monash Scholarship, Dr Ling San Lau began research with a team led by Professor Monette Zard, Director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University. She has recently released as the lead author My Own Hands: A Medium-Term Approach towards Self-Reliance and Resilience of Syrian Refugees and Host Communities in Jordan, a research report aiming to inform and guide policies supporting longer-term needs and self-reliance of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians. Focusing on education, livelihoods and social protection, the research also included key informant interviews with Jordanian civil society leaders, local and international NGOs, intergovernmental agencies, donors and government officials.
San's report was formally launched at the Columbia Global Centers in Amman and featured an expert panel discussion, including Omar Rifai, Senior Adviser to HRH Prince Hassan and Director General of the WANA Institute, Ayat Nashwan, from Yarmouk University, Souzan Mohareb from Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) and Bryn Boyce from the International Rescue Committee (IRC Jordan).
Harrison is also part of an interdisciplinary team from Oxford University and King’s College London leading the electrical design of a low-cost prototype ventilator that can be quickly assembled in small labs or workshops amid the COVID19 shortage. The team anticipate that manufacture could begin across the UK within 2-3 weeks.
2013 Pratt Foundation John Monash Scholar and Public Health Lawyer
Dr Alexandra Phelan leading conversations on COVID-19
Dr Alexandra Phelan (second from left) is one of the world's leading experts in public health law and an Adjunct Professor in global health law at Georgetown University. Having followed the situation around COVID-19 since the first case in Wuhan, she has become a trusted voice on platforms such as twitter. On February 19th she shared her expertise in 'Law, Policy, and Public Health: The Case of Coronavirus' for NYU School of Law's The Forum, joining a distinguished panel including the New York State's Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker. In addition she has been quoted in The New York Times on the escalation of public health measures China imposed in multiple provinces.
John Monash Scholars receive great media coverage and produce a large number of publications, work and research which the Foundation communicates to its followers via the following channels: our Website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We encourage you to follow us on these platforms so you can keep up with their prolific work and achievements
Dr Melanie Bannister-Tyrell (2011)
was quoted in the article 'Is the Pacific ready for coronavirus?' for Devex. Read here.
Fernando do Campo (2014)
invaded Launceston with The Kookaburra Self-Relocation Project (WHOSLAUGHINGJACKASS). Read here.
Reuben Finighan (2016)
was featured for his research in 'Time for the Nationals to get on board, or get out of the way' in The Sydney Morning Herald. Read here.
Fergus Green (2012)
co-wrote an article for The Interpreter 'China’s carbon emissions trading scheme: Smoke and mirrors'. Read here.
Kate Griffiths (2012)
wrote an article for The Conversation 'How big money influenced the 2019 federal election – and what we can do to fix the system'. Read here.
Jillian Kilby (2013)
joined the expert panel for NSW Government in identifying regional council-managed roads for road reclassification. Read here.
Dr Matthew Lennon (2020)
was featured in 'Katherine GP shortage increases waiting times, frustration for patients and doctors' for ABC News. Read here.
Dr Kate Manne (2006)
wrote an Opinion piece in 'Women in a man’s world: Understanding the logic of misogyny' for ABC Religion & Ethics. Read here. spoke with Vox on the US presidential campaign in 'The bias against female presidential candidates is real'. Read here.
Dr Amy McLennan (2009)
was featured in 'Building a future for artificial intelligence' for the Sydney Morning Herald. Read here.
Heather Muir (2018)
wrote an Opinion piece for The New Daily in 'Why awarding ‘gender points’ to women in engineering will do more harm than good'. Read here.
Lara Olsen (2004)
was appointed as the new Managing Director for South East Water. Read here.
Dr Gemma Sharp (2007)
shared her research for ABC Life in '5 ways I'm learning to accept my post-baby body'. Read here. spoke with Buzzfeed News in 'TikTok Is Filled With Pro-Eating Disorder Content, Despite Its Own Rules'. Read here. was featured as Pro Bono Australia's Changemaker. Read here.
Cavin Wilson (2013)
was the co-author for a report published as part of the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED). Read here.
We are always keen to keep our readers details up to date. If you have changed any of your contact information and want to make sure that the Foundation has your correct details for all future correspondence and events please send us an email.