Wednesday, 03 May 2023

Charles Hawker Scholarship Reception

Rod and I are delighted to welcome you all to Government House for the presentation of the Charles Allan Seymour Hawker Scholarships.

Firstly, and importantly, congratulations to the scholarship awardees we are recognising today.

By being chosen for this prestigious scholarship, you have already demonstrated your potential as a future leader, alongside a commitment to furthering your education and contributing to your wider community.

In this way, you are walking in the footsteps of Charles Hawker, a remarkable Australian by any measure. I hope his story inspires you throughout your lives, wherever the footsteps lead you.

Charles Hawker was a respected pastoral pioneer, a World War I veteran, distinguished scholar, and leading Federal Parliamentarian. The electorate of Hawker honours him.

In 1938, he died, tragically, when the aircraft Kyeema crashed in fog into Mount Dandenong in Victoria.

At the age of 44, he had already achieved much and was widely regarded for his loyalty, integrity and commitment to our nation.

Importantly his legacy of service and leadership remains at the heart of these scholarships, and we thank the late Kathleen Lilias Needham for perpetuating the memory of her brother in this way.

As Governor, it has been a privilege to visit universities and schools across the State and meet many young people who are actively contributing to their communities.

They are curious about our system of government, how our democracy works and how they can contribute in their own way.

I take pride in continuing the Governor’s Awards for Civics, instituted by my predecessor, the Hon Hieu Van Le, to encourage and reward this curiosity.

I note that our awardees Oliver, Hannah, Finn, and Charley, have politics, international relations and law amongst their studies.

By studying our society’s institutions, by examining their impact, by contemplating how well they serve us, or indeed identifying opportunities for improvement, they can help shape our future.

The enthusiasm of our young people and their determination to create a better community gives us all a sense of optimism about that future.

Let me say speak briefly about the value of a residential college experience – though not my own. Three of our now adult children were college residents while studying at university, Matthew and Sophie at Burgmann College at ANU, and Katherine at Lincoln College in Adelaide.

They enjoyed the friendships and academic support of their fellow students and as parents we were grateful, as many other parents are, to know they were living in a caring environment.

It is striking that the Charles Allan Seymour Hawker Memorial Scholarship Trust Fund has, since 1990, awarded more than $7 million to 139 young Australians, and almost equally to male and female applicants from across Australia.

Many are now working in Australia, Europe, the United States and Asia and six scholars have subsequently been offered Rhodes Scholarships.

That’s an impressive cohort of alumni! I hope you will always be proud to be a CAS Hawker scholar.

I thank and congratulate all those involved in the program for their enthusiasm for the task.

There is no better investment than nurturing our future leaders.

Coming events