Australia’s best and brightest announced as 2023 General Sir John Monash Scholars
This year’s 15 recipients will become among Australia’s next generation of leaders and global pioneers in their selected fields
Now in its 19th year, the generously funded John Monash Scholarships provide recipients the chance to study at any of the leading tertiary institutions across the globe including: Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, IE Madrid, The University of Groningen, INSEAD, Kings College London and many more. This truly national scholarship is funded by Australia’s civic society, including the Commonwealth and State governments, corporates, universities and private philanthropists.
Among the recipients are a Wallabies prop studying to close the gap between regional and city healthcare; a scientist dedicated to fighting climate change with AI; a physicist who hopes to unlock the mysteries of quantum science; an engineer who wants to develop robotics to support marginalised Australians and a Crown Prosecutor deeply committed to justice.
This year's award round secured 30 years of study for a diverse group of Australians after a thorough selection process from over 244 applications followed by 104 formal interviews with esteemed state and national judging panels. As well as demonstrating excellence in their field, scholars have been chosen based on strong leadership ability and a vision to deliver a positive impact for the benefit of Australia.
Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, Jillian Segal AO, said she was incredibly proud of the exceptional calibre of diverse talent captured by this year’s award round.
“We pride ourselves on identifying the future leaders of Australia and offering them unrivalled opportunities at the finest tertiary institutions around the globe. The 2023 scholars are a diverse and exceptional group of individuals that are already breaking new ground in their chosen fields. I am confident that they will lead the nation and the world through its next great challenges,” said Ms Segal.
With recipients being selected from every state and territory in Australia, this year's cohort also saw a record two Tasmanian scholars and an increasing number of women in STEM.
The Foundation’s 2023 awards included scholarships focused on supporting health, climate change, and global justice, after a tumultuous period for the nation which saw Australians face flooding, bushfires, COVID-19 and grapple with indigenous and women’s issues.
Wallabies prop Tomas Robertson, Tim Fischer John Monash Scholar was among the scholars selected, and is planning to study a Master of International Health and Tropical Medicine at Oxford University with the long-term goal of helping close the gap in health outcomes between the regional and metropolitan areas of Australia.
Proud Nyiyaparli woman, Karri Walker will pursue a Master of Laws focusing on human rights and comparative studies to bring together her lived experience as an Aboriginal woman and her professional legal expertise.
Alex Schutz, The John and Anna Belfer Trust John Monash Scholar, has become the first scholar in the field of robotics, studying a Master of Science in Systems, Control and Robotics at KTH Royal Institute of Technology with the hopes that her work can support some of the most vulnerable Australians.
After securing an in-perpetuity partnership with the Foundation, the first Rio Tinto scholarship was this year awarded to Abi Rajkumar, a Crown Prosecutor from the Northern Territory who aims to make a tangible difference to victims and offenders in the justice system through evidence-based progressive policy.
Now in its 19th year, the General Sir John Monash Foundation has awarded 248 scholarships since its inception in 2001.
Annemarie Rolls, CEO of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, said the future looked bright for Australia as the new scholars have a passion for addressing societal challenges and improving the lives of others.
“It is a privilege to provide opportunities to such a diverse group of incredibly talented individuals. Our scholars, whether they are engineers, lawyers or artists, display the full gamut of talent and possess the ability to step forth and lead,” said Ms Rolls.
The announcement of the 2023 scholarship follows an injection of donations to The General Sir John Monash Foundation including an extended five-year $1.5 million partnership with long term partner, BHP on top of the in perpetuity partnership with Rio Tinto.