First Hawke, Fischer scholarships awarded

The first university scholarships honouring Bob Hawke, as well as Tim Fischer, have been awarded.
The first university scholarships honouring Bob Hawke, as well as Tim Fischer, have been awarded.

A lawyer and a dementia researcher have been announced the first winners of scholarships honouring the late Bob Hawke and Tim Fischer.

The John Monash Foundation presented the awards during a celebration at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday.

Chloe D'Souza, winner of the 2020 Bob Hawke John Monash Scholarship, is a Wilman Noongar woman from Perth, who will study law and policy aimed at improving the social and economic outcomes of Indigenous Australians.

The prize will support her to study a Master of Laws at Colombia University in the USA.

Dr Matthew Lennon, winner of the 2020 Tim Fischer John Monash Scholarship, is a doctor from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

He will use the money to undertake a Master of Neuroscience at Oxford University, and plans to bring improved dementia research back to Australia to help ageing rural and remote communities.

Sir John Monash Foundation chairman Jillian Segal said Ms D'Souza and Dr Lennon reflected John Monash's leadership and his desire to make a valuable contribution to society.

"The foundation is honoured to be able to award these two scholarships which, through an investment in outstanding talent, are a tribute to the contribution of each of Bob Hawke and Tim Fischer to the nation," she said.

The scholarships will be awarded each year to support exceptional Australians to undertake postgraduate study overseas.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government was honoured to provide $10 million to support the new perpetual scholarships in honour of Mr Hawke, a former prime minister, and Mr Fischer, a former deputy prime minister.

"The John Monash Scholars are amongst our countries brightest minds - they embody our hopes for the future," he said.

Mr Hawke died in May aged 89, while Mr Fischer died aged 73 in August.

Australian Associated Press