Not all Australians have the opportunity or the motivation to pursue an education at a leading overseas University. Thanks to the General Sir John Monash Foundation’s scholarship program established in 2004, 23 formidable Australians have obtained postgraduate qualifications from Harvard University, pursuing study in a variety of areas such as public policy, health, business, education, law, medicine and more. This includes the seven Roth/Segal John Monash Harvard Scholar recipients, who received this specific Scholarship award because their ambitions echo the values of the Roth/Segal family, generous philanthropists and Harvard Alumni themselves, who have dearly valued their own Harvard educational experiences and the opportunities they afforded.
Across popular culture, the world of business and academia, Harvard University is often viewed as America’s most prestigious university. If you have already experienced Australia’s own world-class education system then you may be wondering what the appeal of studying abroad may hold, and what makes Harvard different to other top-ranking universities worldwide? Below is a summary of what just three of our John Monash Scholars who have attended Harvard have experienced.
Mr Ryan Carters, 2018 Roth/Segal John Monash Harvard Scholar (Master of Policy and Public Service)
Associate, McKinsey & Company
Studying at the Harvard Kennedy School gave me the chance to learn from world-leading thinkers and practitioners in economics, public policy, political science, leadership and management. I loved how the community was full of lively debate, not merely on academic matters but asking how to make practical change to improve the lives of citizens - with an added sense of urgency in the era of Trump's presidency and the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since returning home I've applied the knowledge and skills I learned at Harvard while advising governments, businesses and non-profit organisations on strategic challenges including decarbonising Australia's regions, navigating the social and economic impacts of COVID-19, and improving care for the elderly.
Ophthalmology Registrar, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
Harvard University (and the city of Boston) has an infectious “hive mind” mentality; brimming with people who are committed to using their own time and energy meaningfully and driven to do so in a way I’ve never seen before. The passion and motivation to share ideas, and create meaningful output is infectious. You’re contacting/being contacted by colleagues well after midnight (most nights) just to share thoughts and work on projects together. There’s a different kind of motivation to do so, and I think it stems from a genuine, collective belief in the importance of what you’re doing. It doesn’t feel like work that needs to get done, it feels like you’re surrounded by a degustation of opportunities, and you can’t fit enough waking hours into the day.
Senior Lawyer/ Advocate, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and RebLaw
At Harvard, I was exposed to theories and models of social justice lawyering that have expanded and shaped how I think about the ways in which the law can be used as part of broader social change. In particular, through the Social Justice Lab at Harvard Kennedy School, I had the privilege of working with grassroots organisers in Baton Rouge Louisiana on a campaign to end a racist and oppressive cash bail system. These experiences continue to shape my current work at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service with people who are impacted by police and prison violence and misconduct. They also led to the creation of the Rebellious Lawyers Conference Australia with fellow Monash scholars. Through my work and through RebLaw I hope to continue to use the law to challenge injustice and build the power of the resilient and strong communities I work with.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the John Monash Foundation is able to provide the gift of education to Australians who show remarkable talent and leadership in their chosen fields of study. This includes providing everyday Australians with the opportunity to pursue an education at a leading overseas university, joining some of the oldest and most established Alumni communities in the world, such as Harvard Alumni. Reflecting on her own time at Harvard, Jillian Segal AO, General Sir John Monash Foundation’s Board Chairman says:
“The Roth/Segal John Monash Harvard Scholarship is gifted in perpetuity for those who seek to join centuries of Scholars in the pursuit of truth, knowledge and a better world. For anyone who has been fortunate enough to receive a truly inspirational educational experience, you know that there is no asset more valuable than this. Providing this gift of scholarship means a lot to my husband and me, as an investment to the future prosperity of Australian society.”
Left image: Jillian Segal AO, Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation and Ryan Carters, 2018 Roth/Segal John Monash Harvard Scholar at the 2018 Presentation Ceremony, held at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.
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