• October 2016
    October 2016 | Volume 1
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    Farewell message from the CEO Renata Bernarde
    Great Scholars’ stories and excellent Foundation performance are some of the highlights of a very successful year.
    I am pleased to share with you the Foundation’s latest results with the release of our 2015-16 Annual Report. The year has been marked by our Scholars’ excellent achievements, the Foundation’s first international conference “The Change Agenda,” a sound financial performance and a variety of engagement opportunities for the Scholars and Foundation supporters.
    This year was also marked by a change of logo, refreshing and modernising the look of the Foundation. We are also launching a fundraising appeal, hoping Scholars, their families and Foundation friends can contribute to support the growing alumni engagement activities.
    We are also celebrating the fact that almost 15 years ago on the 14th of December 2001, the Foundation was incorporated as an educational organisation for the purposes of promoting and encouraging the pursuit of knowledge by establishing, raising funds and administering what was to become one of Australia’s most important scholarships. I hope the John Monash Scholars, founding members and supporters can be proud of all that we have been able to achieve so far.
    You can read our 2015-16 Annual Report here.
    This is also my farewell note to all Foundation supporters, friends and Scholars. It has been an immense pleasure to lead this organisation in a phase of transformation, growth, maturity and strategic planning for the future. I have seen our supporters’ base grow wider and deeper, with a larger number of representatives from each of our supporters’ groups becoming more and more engaged with our work, events, volunteering and overall mission. We have implemented state of the art systems to support our growing operations, including a scholarship management portal, which we are the only organisation in Australia to adopt. It is a highly popular and well praised scholarship system used by many American universities and foundations. We have also implemented the best possible alumni engagement system to enhance our communications with our growing number of Scholars, donors and friends. We have the amazing support of over 100 volunteers and Scholars, who contribute their time and expertise to help us run the selection process, which is an amazing experience for all involved. Our Scholars are always available to help us and each other. Our professional team is now well established and able to support the Foundation through its next stage of growth.
    Thank you to all Scholars, supporters, members, staff (current and former) and the Board of Directors, especially our Chairman Jillian Segal, for the opportunity you have given me to be part of this great endeavour.
    Yours truly,
    Renata Bernarde

    Message from Jillian Segal AM, Chairman of the Foundation
    As Renata notes earlier in this newsletter, she will be leaving the Foundation later in the year to pursue some new challenges.
    We are most grateful for all she has done for the Foundation particularly her initiatives in systematising and professionalising the office and our processes including modernising the scholarship application process. In the past two years, Renata has brought great passion to the role and built a dedicated and cohesive team which has worked extremely hard to support our Scholars and events.
    We wish Renata well in her future endeavours and know that she will remain a true friend of the Foundation. Until we recruit a new CEO, Dr Peter Binks will act as an interim CEO.
    Yours sincerely,
    Jillian Segal AM

    John Monash Scholars in the News

    John Monash Scholars received great media coverage and produce a large number of publications, work and research which the Foundation communicates to its followers via the following channels: ourWebsite, 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.
    In case you have missed it, here are some highlights.
    Madeline Gleeson
    2012 John Monash Scholar Madeline Gleeson has published “Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru.” The book explores what happened in the first three years of offshore processing since its recommencement in 2012 and what the experience has been like for asylum seekers who have been detained there. Madeline Gleeson is a Research Associate at the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW.

    Roger Noble
    2008 John Monash Scholar Brigadier Roger Noble is currently the second-in-command in the international fight against the Islamic State in Iraq. The article profiling Brigadier Noble explores his role in coordinating the overseas campaign and how they are working with local forces to remove the Islamic State from the region.

    Kathryn Parker
    2014 Australian Cultural John Monash Scholar Kathryn Parker has published, “Shakespearean drama: A vehicle for explorative learning and higher-order thinking,” in Education Matters. Kathryn discusses the educational benefits of studying Shakespeare in school. Kathryn has recently begun her PhD in Shakespeare studies in the Department of English at The University of Sydney following the completion of her MA in Shakespeare Studies at King’s College London and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
    Diary Dates

    Announcement of the 2017 John Monash Scholars
    When: 21 November 2016
    The 2017 John Monash Scholars will be announced in the media, Foundation’s newsletter, social media and website on Monday 21st of November 2016. For more information about the announcement or to receive an embargoed media release a few days prior please contact Ms Hailey Berkhout on

    Annual General Meeting of the Foundation
    When: 30 November 2016
    Where: Melbourne
    Who: Members
    The Foundation Members will receive further communication regarding voting and attendance at the next AGM. For more information please contact Mr Halyer Rayner on

    2017 John Monash Scholars Presentation Ceremony
    Where: Melbourne
    Who: 2017 Scholars and families, alumni, members and supporters
    Further details will be sent to Scholars, members and supporters in December 2016. If you would like more information please contact Ms Paola Wisniak on


    The Change Agenda 2017: John Monash Scholars’ US Symposium
    When: 20-21 March 2017
    Where: New York City
    Who: Scholars based in the US, Canada and Asia, supporters and general public
    Following the success of the 2016 Symposium in the UK (you can see the Scholars’ presentation here), we are looking forward to welcoming Scholars and guests to our 2nd international conference, which will take place in New York. If you would like to be invited and be involved please contact Dr Judith Landsberg on
    The Foundation is grateful to the Lee Liberman Foundation and Woodside Energy for supporting the John Monash Scholars’ Symposia.
  • February 2016



    General Sir John Monash Foundation

    The Change Agenda
    Leadership and Direction for Australia’s Future
    Inaugural John Monash Scholars’ Symposium
    Friday 1 April 2016, St Hugh’s College Oxford, United Kingdom

    The John Monash Scholars currently studying and living in Europe want to share some of the excitement of their learning experiences. They have curated a series of short presentations on topical issues which are impacting Australia and the world. We hope you can join us either at Oxford or view their presentations online.

    The John Monash Scholarships are awarded to outstanding Australians, enabling them to study overseas to seek and perhaps find solutions to the world’s greatest problems. The John Monash Scholars are extremely grateful for the support provided by the Foundation’s supporters and they are excited to share their new found knowledge with the community.

    It is in this spirit of sharing and collaboration that the idea to hold a symposium was developed. As many Scholars are currently studying in Europe it was decided that the Foundation’s inaugural symposium would be held in the United Kingdom. The Foundation and Scholars plan to organise regular symposiums in the future, both in Australia and overseas. John Monash Scholars are leaders across a diverse range of disciplines and their short presentations will offer a unique insight into the topics that our Scholars are exploring in their postgraduate studies and careers. The event will also include panel discussions so that guests and Scholars can together discuss topics that will have an impact on Australia’s future.

    We would be delighted if you could join us for this inaugural one-day event. As friends of the Foundation we ask you to please help us promote the symposium by forwarding this invitation to individuals in your network whom you believe would be interested in the opportunity to hear from some of Australia’s finest minds. If you are unable to attend we are planning to upload the presentations on our website and social media in the weeks and months following the event.


    The Change Agenda

    Leadership and Direction for Australia’s Future

    Inaugural John Monash Scholars’ Symposium
    Friday 1 April 2016, St Hugh’s College
    Oxford, United Kingdom

    Drivers of Change

    Presentations on the impact of nano-technology, the future of healthcare, and the changing environment.

    Our Human Response

    Presentations on character and leadership, poetry and the modern apology, and LGBTI representation in teen literature.

    Harnessing Technology

    Presentations on ‘smart’ cities, big data, and medical technology.

    Leading the Region

    Presentations on the impact of migration, clean tech entrepreneurship, and regional climate change.

    Major Sponsor

    The Lee Liberman Foundation
    The John Monash Community Programs, including the symposium and alumni leadership and development activities, are generously supported by the Lee Liberman Foundation. Symposium Supporters


  • December 2015 Newsletter



    General Sir John Monash Foundation Newsletter

    Chairman, Jillian Segal and the 2016 John Monash Scholars
    Announcement of the 2016 John Monash Scholars, Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, 25 November 2015

    The Announcement of the
    2016 John Monash Scholars

    A Message from the Chairman, Ms Jillian Segal AM

    On behalf of the Board and management of the General Sir John Monash Foundation I am honoured to announce the 2016 John Monash Scholars. The Scholars, who will be awarded their scholarships formally in February 2016, represent a wide range of areas of study and will add diverse expertise to our growing community of John Monash Scholars which has now reached 127 members.

    The 17 Scholars selected for the 2016 John Monash Scholarships:
    • represent five States and the ACT;
    • have studied at 10 different Australian universities;
    • will pursue studies in a range of fields such as music, engineering, health policy, finance and history; and
    • plan to enrol in 12 different overseas universities.

    The John Monash Scholarships are a nation-building initiative made possible by the generous support received from the Australian Government, State Governments, corporate sponsors, foundations and individual donors. Thank you to all our important and generous donors and sponsors. I would also like to acknowledge the following new major scholarships and supporters of the Foundation who have joined since the start of the calendar year:
    • Department of Veterans’ Affairs, supporting a perpetual Anzac Centenary John Monash Scholarship;
    • NSW Government, supporting a perpetual Roden Cutler NSW John Monash Scholarship;
    • Susan & Isaac Wakil Foundation, supporting the 2016 Susan & Isaac Wakil Foundation John Monash Scholarship;
    • Helen & Michael Gannon, supporting the Helen & Michael Gannon John Monash Scholarship to be awarded in 2017;
    • Lee Liberman Foundation, supporting the John Monash Scholars Community Program and the John Monash Scholars Aid Program;
    • New Chairman’s Circle Members: Mr John Allpass, Emeritus Professor Peter Darvall AO, Mr Stephen Gerlach AM, Mr Andrew Waites and Ms Kerri Burgess, Mr Steven Wilson AM and Dr Jane Wilson; and
    • The University of Adelaide, joining the Australian Universities’ Consortium.

    The Foundation is also very grateful for the support and commitment of over 100 volunteers who have assisted in the 2016 selection process. Our First Reviewers, State and Territory Chairs and Panellists, the Chair of our National Selection Panel, Emeritus Professor Peter Darvall AO, and the National Panellists are all a vital part of the Foundation’s family and the backbone of the scholarship selection process.
    I look forward to updating you in the coming years on the journey these 17 young Australians will take as they pursue their studies and become leaders in their fields. To find out more about other John Monash Scholars and the positive impact they are having in a range of sectors both in Australia and overseas, please review our latest Annual Report on our website, or follow us on social media.

    Warm regards,

    Jillian Segal AM
    General Sir John Monash Foundation

    Learn more about the
    2016 John Monash Scholars

    The full citations for the 2016 John Monash Scholars are available via our website. Click here to learn more about these inspiring Australians.

    Announcement Highlights

    Visit our Facebook page or click on the images below to view more photos from the Announcement of the 2016 John Monash Scholars. 


  • October 2015 Newsletter

    General Sir John Monash Foundation Newsletter

    A snapshot from the Foundation’s Annual Report 2014-15

    Annual Report 2014-15

    A Year in Review, from Chief Executive Officer Renata Bernarde

    I am delighted to enclose in this newsletter our most recent Annual Report, jam-packed with great news about our Foundation and the John Monash Scholars. I hope that you will enjoy the cover, which is an artwork from Fernando do Campo, our 2014 Australian Cultural John Monash Scholar (supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Mr Tim Fairfax AC).  You can read more about Fernando and his recent art exhibition in New York on page 15.

    We have collated the most interesting published news about our Scholars on pages 10 and 11, and we have sprinkled updates about our alumni throughout the report. You will also read about the Foundation’s strong financial performance, continued growth and new initiatives such as the New Scholars’ Retreat, as well as our future goals and plans.

    I will be in touch again before the end of the year to share with you the good news about the selection of the 2016 John Monash Scholars. We are at the tail-end of the selection process and the official announcement will be made at the end of November, so watch this space!

    Once again, I welcome your feedback and ideas. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read our report.

    Warm regards,
    Renata Bernarde
    Chief Executive Officer, General Sir John Monash Foundation

    Click here to view the Annual Report as an e-magazine
    Click here to view the Annual Report as a PDF

    Special offer exclusive to the
    General Sir John Monash Foundation

    War Classics by General Sir John Monash 

    Black Inc.

    The publishers of “Monash War Classics” have kindly offered to donate $20 to our Foundation from every purchase made via the link below. The collection retails for $79.99 however it is available at the special price of $69.99 until the 11 November 2015.

    War Letters of General Monash

    This collection of extraordinary, intimate letters from General Sir John Monash to his wife and daughter, records his experiences throughout World War I, from landing at Gallipoli to leading decisive victories on the Western Front. Monash writes with remarkable insight and candour. Republished in full for the first time since the 1930s, this collection includes an introduction and historical notes by A.K. Macdougall, new photos of Gallipoli and the Western Front, and additional letters, including Monash’s moving final letter to his wife before the Gallipoli landing.

    The Australian Victories in France in 1918

    First published in 1920, this famous work by General Sir John Monash, regarded as the best allied commander of World War I, immediately garnered glowing praise as one of the most entertaining and informative accounts of war ever written. It is now recognised as one of the most important records of World War I. This edition features a new foreword, stunning photos, and colour reproductions of the original maps that were hand-drawn under Monash’s supervision.

    Presented here in a collectors’ slipcase, the War Classics, offer unparalleled insight in the role of Australians in World War I, and into the experience of one of Australia’s greatest leaders, General Sir John Monash.

    For more information and to take advantage of this special offer, please click here.
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  • April 2015 Newsletter

    General Sir John Monash Foundation Newsletter

    2015 John Monash Scholars with His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove, Lady Cosgrove, Foundation Chairman Ms Jillian Segal AM and Foundation Cheif Executive Officer Renata Bernarde.


    From Chief Executive Officer Renata Bernarde

    On behalf of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our first newsletter. These are exciting times for the Foundation and our Scholars, and we hope our quarterly newsletters create an opportunity for you to learn more about us, and keep in touch with our Scholars, and our calendar of events. The newsletter is going out to all friends of the Foundation: Scholars and their families, donors past and present, patrons, members, assessors and panellists who assist us with the Scholarship selection.

    On the 4th of May we opened the selection process for the 2016 John Monash Scholarships. We hope to receive many high quality applications, and you can help us by promoting it to friends, family and colleagues. We all know an outstanding Australian who would greatly benefit from a John Monash Scholarship, so please help us reach out to him or her! Thank you in advance for your assistance with this promotion.

    In addition to the support the Foundation receives from federal government, corporate sponsors and individual donors, we have had the pleasure this year to welcome the ongoing support of the NSW Government and the Government of Victoria, each sponsoring a John Monash Scholarship for their respective states. These is a great outcome that we hope to replicate in other states and territories in the future. If you would like to learn more about opportunities to support the John Monash Foundation please contact us and we will be delighted to assist you.

    We were moved by the many commemorative services held in Australia and around the globe on ANZAC Day. Included in this newsletter is a short article about how General Sir John Monash helped initiate this great tradition. We recognize the values that the ANZACs embodied and we are proud to see many of those same values in our John Monash Scholars, who are going on to roles of global leadership. You will also have the opportunity to read about some of them in the “John Monash Scholars in the News” section, and the interview with Dr Matthew Baker who was recently selected as one of the top 5 scientists under 40 in Australia.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter, and I wholeheartedly welcome your feedback and ideas for future issues.

    Yours truly,
    Renata Bernarde
    Chief Executive Officer, General Sir John Monash Foundation

    What does bionanotechnology rhyme with?

    John Monash Scholar Dr Matthew Baker is bridging the gap between science and poetry 

    2005 John Monash Scholar Dr Matthew Baker was recently selected as one of Australia’s Top 5 Scientists under 40 by ABC Radio National and UNSW.

    Matthew describes himself as a “poet-scientist,” combining his love of performance poetry and nanomachine science, and has performed live at a number of festivals over the past years. Matthew completed his PhD at the University of Oxford, studying the Bacterial Flagellar Motor, a nanoscale rotary electric motor which makes bacteria swim. In the article below, Matthew discusses his work as a scientist, his love of music collaboration and competitive fencing.

    Matthew, tell us about your work as a biophysicist at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI).

    M: We work on the artificial synthesis of the flagellar motor. I’ve spent most of my research career looking at this motor.  I bring single molecule expertise to the group here. That is, how to build high resolution microscopes to look at the motor while it builds itself.

    We are the first people in the world to look at building the motor in vitro and it relies on a consortium we have between Osaka, Japan, and two of my former supervisors from Oxford.

    My goal has always been to be an approachable scientist. For me it is about working out how complex systems have emerged, evolutionarily, as this informs our own origins, and ultimately, complex emergence is a defining facet of life.

    In March ABC Radio National and UNSW named you one of Australia’s Top 5 Scientists Under 40. What does it mean to be a leading “next generation science communicator?”

    M: I have always found it easy to explain complex ideas in simple ways. At the end of the day everyone is capable of speaking to family on the phone and explaining their day to their grandma. I also think we have an obligation to explain our research; that does not mean we have to simplify the work, but you should be able to explain why it is significant and innovative in a few minutes to almost any member of society. In fact, I usually find that when you do that, you also remind yourself about why it is significant and innovative.

    I’m stoked [to be selected a Top 5 Scientist under 40] although I do not for a second believe that means I am one of the top 5 scientists under 40, just one of the lucky people given a shot at producing science on the radio in Australia, and I am excited at the opportunity to work with the ABC to do this.

    Click here to read the full interview on our website. 

    ANZAC Day commemorations 

    1916 to 2015: Living the legacy initiated by General Sir John Monash

    General Sir John Monash was the instigator for what is today recognised as one of the most solemn days on the Australian calendar, ANZAC Day April 25th. A day in recognition of that first landing by Australian Forces at Ari Burnu on Turkey’s Gallipoli Peninsula, now forever in the Australian psyche known as ANZAC Cove.

    On 25th April 1916, while still in Tel el Kebir, Sir John Monash turned out his brigade of some 15,000 men at 6.45am. Every man who had served at Gallipoli wore a blue ribbon on the right breast. Those, such as Monash, who also took part in the initial landings wore a red ribbon as well. “How few of us left” he noted in his diary, “Who are entitled to wear both”.

    There was a short service in keeping with the solemn occasion to remember fallen comrades. Monash wanted the day to be memorable as well as enjoyable. He organised a festival with cricket matches in the morning, then the soldiers went swimming in the canal. There was even a skit on the Gallipoli landing to lighten the occasion.

    100 years on from the landings at Gallipoli, a John Monash Scholar bearing the legacy of Sir John Monash’s name, played an important role at the Townsville centenary commemorations. Brigadier Roger Noble, Commander of 3rd Brigade, participated in his local ANZAC Day commemorations by delivering a heartfelt speech to  over 25,000 at the Dawn Service. It was Townsville’s 3rd Brigade who first stepped foot on the shores of ANZAC Cove in Turkey on April 25, 1915. Brigadier Noble was awarded a 2008 John Monash Scholarship to study for a Masters of International Public Policy at John Hopkins University, USA. Brigadier Noble has been heavily involved in the relief efforts following Cyclone Marcia in Queensland and Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu.

    References and exerts taken from Monash: The Outsider Who Won a War (Roland Perry 2004)
    Image: John Monash, ANZAC Day Parade, 25th April 1931. Image From Australian Government National Archives.

    John Monash Scholars in the news

    The John Monash Scholars  have  received great media coverage over the last couple of months. In case you have missed it, here are some highlights. Click on the pictures to read full articles, or click on the Scholar names to be taken to their profiles on our website.

    Canberra Times – 12 February 2015

    2012 John Monash Scholar Madeline Gleeson commented on the Australian Human Rights Commission Report, The Forgotten Children, made public earlier this year.

    The Cairns Post – 25 February 2015
    2013 John Monash Scholar Kate Smith has been selected to participate in the inaugural China Australia Millenial Project (CAMP) which will bring together 100 emerging Australian leaders and 100 young Chinese innovators.

    ABC RN – 7 March 2015

    2005 John Monash Scholar Dr Matthew Baker was awarded the ABC Radio National and UNSW Top 5 Under 40 Scientist. Watch the ABC RN video above or click here to read more on Matt and his fellow top 5 Under 40 Scientists.

    The University of Sydney – 18 March 2015

    2004 John Monash Scholar Dr Jacqueline Mowbray has been awarded a prestigious prize by the American Society of International Law for coauthored publication, The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Commentary, Cases, and Materials (Oxford University Press).

    ABC Radio Australia – 18 March 2015 

    2008 John Monash Scholar Brigadier Roger Noble, Commander of 3rd Brigade, comments to ABC Radio National about the Australian Defence Force efforts to support Vanuatu following the devastating impact of Cycle Pam.

    The Daily Telegraph – 19 March 2015                                       Image ©Cameron Richardson

    You may not know that 2009 John Monash Scholar Dr Mark Schembri is not only a dedicated vet but also a baking enthusiast. In addition to being one of the vets at the Sydney Easter, he was also a competitor in Australia’s biggest cake competition.

    The Courier Mail – 2 May 2015    

    2015 John Monash Scholar Lauren Ward has been chosen as one of the participants of Dark Mofo Hothouse in Tasmania. Lauren will join politicians, academics and community leaders to discuss the issues facing education in Tasmania.

    To keep up to date with the achievements and work of the John Monash Scholars, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also stay up to date through our website.

    Diary dates

    What: Applications open for 2016 John Monash Scholarships
    Where: Australia wide
    Who: General Sir John Monash Foundation
    When: Open 4th May and close 12th August 2015Any applicants with questions regarding the John Monash Scholarships are encouraged to contact the Foundation for support.More information
    What: Figure behind a lake
    Where:The Australian Consulate-General, New York, USA
    Who: 2014 John Monash Scholar Fernando do Campo
    When: 9th April –  14th May 2015This exhibition presents thirty new paintings produced in Fernando’s studio in Manhattan at Parsons The New School for Design.More information
    What: The Picture Box Orchestra
    Where: Paris Cat- Parisian Loft, 6 Goldie Place, Melbourne
    Who: 2015 John Monash Scholar Alies Sluiter
    When: 8.30pm 9 May 2015Led by Alies Sluiter, The Picture Box Orchestra incorporate an array of musical techniques, including Indian classical, Jazz, Hip-hop and more, to create evocative music.More information
    What: See you at the barricades
    Where: Art Gallery of NSW
    Who: 2015 John Monash Scholar Macushla Robinson, Curator
    When: 30 May – 29 Nov 2015Macushla Robinson curates the exhibition, See you at the barricades, utilising the Art Gallery of NSW’s collection in order to investigate the relationship between protesting and art.More information
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