30th October 2023
2020 C.A.S. Hawker Scholar Oliver Douglas has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford in 2024. Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia named Oliver Douglas as the University of Adelaide’s 114th Rhodes Scholar-Elect during an event at Government House earlier this month.
Oliver is residing at St Mark’s College and completing his fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 2023 and is majoring in history at the University of Adelaide. During his undergraduate years, he has been awarded the Lynda Tapp Prize and John F. Kennedy Memorial Scholarship, among other academic prizes.
At Oxford, Oliver intends to undertake a Master of Studies in History.
“I will focus on the strand of ‘Modern British History since 1850’ so I can examine the functioning of British democracy when it faced serious challenges during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,” Oliver said.
Following his Master of Studies, Oliver plans to explore British democracy and its challenges in greater depth through a doctorate in the Faculty of History.
“Through my studies and later career, perhaps as an academic or public servant, I intend to strive to contribute to strengthening democratic institutions wherever and as best I can. I believe democracy must be reinvigorated if my generation hopes to solve the climate crisis, egregious wealth inequality, security challenges, and other important issues,” Oliver said.
His achievements during his secondary studies at St John’s Grammar School in the Adelaide Hills were outstanding and his subsequent professional and personal development over the past four years at the University of Adelaide have been inspiring.
During his undergraduate years at St Mark’s College and the University of Adelaide, Oliver has performed outstandingly in his studies and in a variety of extra-curricular activities, with a strong focus on service and leadership. These activities include College Vice President and President of the South Australian Association of University College Clubs. He also researched and wrote with St Mark’s Head of College Professor Don Markwell AM, profiles of St Mark’s women of distinction, including C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship founder Mrs Lilias Needham. The series was to mark the 40th anniversary of coeducation at St Mark’s College.
Oliver has been commissioned as Lieutenant in the Australian Army Reserve and awarded the Royal New South Wales Regiment Prize for his constant demonstration of exemplary field skills and tactical knowledge.
Oliver is a young man of integrity, with a social conscious and the seventh C.A.S. Hawker Scholar to also be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. Previous Hawker / Rhodes recipients are Anthony Roediger (1997), Dr Rachel Buxton (1998), Phillip Killicoat (2004), Michael Jones (2011), Yasmin Poole (2022) and Sai Campbell (2023).
Rhodes recipients are selected on academic achievement, character, leadership and commitment to making a difference in the world. One hundred Rhodes Scholars are selected each year from participating countries. Five thousand postgraduate scholars have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships since 1903 to study at the University of Oxford.
Often referred to as “Australia’s Rhodes” the Charles Hawker Scholarship was established by Mrs Lilias Needham in memory of her brother Charles Allan Seymour Hawker, one of Australia’s most respected pastoral pioneers and politicians.
Since 1990, C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship Trustees have awarded scholarships to 139 young Australians, including a significant number from regional areas. Scholarships are offered to capable students of principle and character who are committed to Australia’s future.
“The Trustees are delighted Oliver Douglas has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He is an outstanding young person. We believe he will continue to succeed in his studies at the highest level and whatever else he sets his mind to achieve,” Hawker family member and C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship Trustee Chair Mr. Andrew Hawker said.
Rhodes Scholars have achieved distinction as politicians, academics, scientists and doctors, authors, entrepreneurs, and Nobel Prize winners. Many scholars have become heads of state or heads of government. Australian Prime Ministers Tony Abbott, Bob Hawke and Malcolm Turnbull are Rhodes Scholars.
The University of Adelaide has had an outstanding record of educating multiple Rhodes Scholar awardees. “I congratulate Mr Douglas on this remarkable achievement and for continuing the proud tradition of University of Adelaide Rhodes Scholars,” University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC said.
More information about the Rhodes Scholarship can be found on the Scholarship website www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/scholarships/the-rhodes-scholarship
Ian Doyle OAM
B Ec Dip Ed
C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship
0417 819 189
(L-R) Major Matthew Walsh, 1993 Hawker and 1998 Rhodes Scholar and member of St Mark’s staff Dr Rachel Buxton, Her Excellency, 2020 Hawker and 2024 Rhodes Scholar Mr. Oliver Douglas and Lieutenant Colonel Michael Henderson, following the presentation of Oliver’s scholarship extension.
Photo Courtesy of: Tom Roschi Photography
Parents Mr. Andrew Douglas and Mrs Albertine Douglas, Her Excellency, 2020 Hawker Scholar Mr. Oliver Douglas and brother Mr. Patrick Douglas at the 2023 C.A.S. Hawker Scholarship presentations at Government House.
Photo Courtesy of: Tom Roschi Photography