John Monash Scholars were centre stage at a special dinner hosted by KPMG held on Thursday the 29th of November in Brisbane. Friends, supporters, Scholar alumni and members of the Queensland Department of Education came together to celebrate both the Foundation’s 20th year of awarding scholarships as well as the establishment of a new Queensland Government John Monash Scholarship.
Dr Katharine Rock (2004 John Monash Scholar) and Dr Joe Gattas (2010 John Monash Scholar) both spoke, reflecting on the impact that their awards have had on both their academic and professional careers.
Katharine is a registered Australian and NZ patent attorney and was most recently Head of Patents at cloud accounting company Xero. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Patent and Trademark Attorneys of Australia and sits on various professional committees, including the Australian ChIP leadership committee, a non-profit organisation seeking to advance women in technology, law and policy.
Joe is an Origami Engineer and Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland. He leads the university’s Folded Structures Lab research group, pioneering the development of origami design techniques for the improved stability of thin wall structures, including modular housing, packaging and lightweight aircraft components. Joe is also a member of the Australian Research Council Future Timber Hub, an initiative that promotes the expansion of innovative tall timber buildings in the Pacific region.
The capstone of the evening was an address from Famin Ahmed, the inaugural Queensland Government John Monash Scholar, who spoke about her dedicated journey in the fight against domestic violence in Australia. Famin has been a fierce advocate for the issue both through her work as a pro bono lawyer with MinterEllison and in her fundraising efforts for Women's Legal Service Queensland. Her commitment to selling hand-made hats through her social enterprise Famin Makes has raised over $60,000 to date for the organisation, supporting them to continue providing their free legal services to survivors.
A special thank you to Michael Hiller from KPMG for hosting the event. Foundation CEO Paul Ramadge said: “The General Sir John Monash Foundation is honoured to have KPMG as a national partner and looks forward to the opportunities this partnership will continue to provide for Scholars.”