Former Governor-General presents 2016 Scholarships

Major General The Hon Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd) presented five new Charles Hawker Scholars with their scholarship certificates this morning at a ceremony held at Burgmann College at the ANU in Canberra.

The Charles Hawker Scholarship was established by Mrs. Lilias Needham in memory of her brother Charles Allan Seymour Hawker. Today the scholarship is valued at up to $50,000.00 over three years and is one of the most generous privately funded scholarships available to undergraduate and postgraduate students in Australia.

Since 1990, the Trustees have awarded more than five million dollars to 114 young Australians, including a significant number from regional areas. The five successful candidates for 2016 were awarded Hawker Scholarships from a strong field of 187 applicants.

The five new scholars are studying Agribusiness, Law, International Relations, Commerce and Journalism. The 2016 scholars have studied in Urana (NSW), Adelaide (SA), Albany (WA), Geelong (VIC), Melbourne (VIC), Renmark (SA) and Wagga Wagga (NSW). Forty friends and family, college representatives, current scholars and Trustees of the C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship attended the function at Burgmann College.

The five 2016 Charles Hawker Scholarship recipients are Mr. Daniel Coulthurst, Mr. Timothy Hobbs, Mr. Alasdair McCall, Miss Shamsiya Mohammadi and Miss Josephine Webb.

Mr. Daniel Coulthurst from Wagga Wagga (NSW) was educated at Riverina Anglican College, St Ignatius College Riverview, TAFE and Marcus Oldham College. Daniel is enrolled at Marcus Oldham College and is completing an Associate Degree in Agribusiness (2016) and a Bachelor of Agribusiness (2017). Growing up in the country but not living on the land has enabled him to gain a unique perspective on farming and agriculture. He has a great admiration for the ‘people on the land’.

Having to sell the family property and move to town has resulted in depression and family breakdowns. Townships that were once thriving on agriculture are slowly shutting down as businesses are forced to close their doors due to the unsustainability of the local economy. Daniel wants this to change and he wants to be able to change it.

Mr. Timothy Hobbs from Adelaide (SA) was educated at Prince Alfred College (SA). He is the first Prince Alfred College student to be awarded a C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship. Timothy is in residence at Burgmann College and is enrolled at the ANU. He is studying a double degree of Law and International Security. Timothy Hobbs has been a one-only-school student. He started at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide in 2001 at the age of four and completed his International Baccalaureate Diploma fourteen years later with an ATAR of 98.25 and wearing the 2015 School Captain’s badge.

Along the way at PAC, he’s been a Dux at various times, a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award inductee, a Long Tan Youth Leadership and Headmaster’s Medal winner and has been awarded numerous academic and sporting colours. He is a published author, plays the bass guitar and has been the Editor of various journals.

Mr. Alasdair McCall from Adelaide (SA) was educated at Albany Senior High School (WA) and St Peter’s College (SA). Alasdair is in residence at Burgmann College and is enrolled at the ANU studying a double degree of Commerce and International Relations. He was the 2015 St Peter’s College Vice-Captain. Alasdair is the sixth St Peter’s College student to be awarded a C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship. The first Hawker Scholarships, presented in 1990, also went to St Peter’s College students Anthony Roediger and Mark Allgrove. Subsequently Hawker Scholarships have been presented to St Peter’s College students, current AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan (1992), Prince Charles Hospital Cardiologist Dr. Christian Hamilton-Craig (1993) and the 2009 College Captain Jonathan Hamer (2010).

Miss Shamsiya Mohammadi is a refugee from Afghanistan. She was educated at the Renmark Primary School (SA) and Roma Mitchell Secondary College in Adelaide (SA). She is residing at St Mark’s College and is studying Bachelor of Journalism and Professional Writing and Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) degrees at the University of South Australia. Miss Shamsiya Mohammadi’s story is one of courage, determination, despair and joy. She describes herself as ‘the daughter of a boat person’. She was two years old when her family of seven escaped the Taliban regime in Afghanistan to find refuge in Pakistan. Her father then risked his life and journeyed by boat to Australia in 2000. The Mohammadi family was reunited in Renmark in 2006. Shamsiya was nine years old and she spoke no English.

She attended the Renmark Primary School and completed her secondary education at the Girls’ Campus of Roma Mitchell Secondary College in Adelaide. By any measure, Shamsiya is an outstanding student. She constantly received Academic Excellence awards. In her final year at Roma Mitchell Secondary College she was recognized with the Year 12 Math Applications and Information Processing and Publishing awards and was the Year 12 Dux of the entire School, achieving an ATAR of 99.75. She was further recognized with the Long Tan Teamwork and Leadership award.

Miss Josephine Webb from Urana (NSW) was educated at Melbourne Girls Grammar (VIC), The Scots School Albury (NSW) and Marcus Oldham College (VIC). Josephine is enrolled in the Bachelor of Business (Agriculture) degree at Marcus Oldham College. Miss Josephine Webb (she prefers Jose) went from School Captain at one of the smallest primary schools in a famous country town, to House Captain in one of the nations best-recognised residential Colleges. The country town was Boree Creek in the Southern Riverina in NSW and the College was Melbourne Girls Grammar.

Boree Creek Primary School is south of Narrandera, west of Wagga Wagga on the road between Lockhart and Morundah in NSW. Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer famously ran the country from Boree Creek when he was acting PM in the late 1990s.

“I congratulate the five 2016 scholars, each of whom has already displayed a strong commitment to the splendid ideals upon which the Charles Hawker Scholarship Memorial Trust Fund is founded. They are gifted scholars with inquiring minds and have already significantly contributed to the well being of the wider community.

“The Charles Hawker Scholarship is one of the most important in Australia. I commend the Trustees for the contribution the scholarship has already made, and will continue to make, to the education of outstanding young Australians,” Major General Michael Jeffery said.

There are a number of scholarships awarded each year. The Trustees offer them to capable students of principle and character, who are committed to Australia’s future.

The Charles Hawker Scholarship perpetuates the memory and commemorates the achievements of one of Australia’s most respected pastoral pioneers. Born on May 16th 1894 at Bungaree homestead near Clare in South Australia, Charles Hawker was educated at Geelong Church of England Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge. Student, soldier, pastoralist and statesman Charles Allan Seymour Hawker died in the Kyeema air disaster on October 25th, 1938.

Undergraduate and postgraduate Hawker Scholars are able to attend a range of educational institutions. These include the Australian National, Adelaide, Flinders, South Australia and New England Universities and Marcus Oldham College. Post-graduate Charles Hawker Scholars are also able to follow in Charles Hawker’s footsteps by enrolling at Trinity College and studying at Cambridge UK.

Selection is based on personal qualities as well as academic ability. Applications for the 2017 Charles Hawker Scholarships open on December 5th 2016 and close on January 6th 2017.  An application form and further information is available from or by contacting the secretary to the Trustees (08) 8127 1654.

More Information:

Cesare Silvestri     
Secretary to the Trustees     
C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship
(08) 8127 1654