Thursday, 30 May 2024

Morning tea to celebrate General Sir John Monash Foundation’s 20th anniversary

Welcome to Government House to celebrate 20 years of the General Sir John Monash Foundation selecting John Monash scholars.

It is my pleasure to be patron of the foundation and to support its work nurturing the talent of the next generation of South Australian leaders, as my predecessors have done.

From my own life experience, I understand very well how time spent overseas can build knowledge, experience and networks.

By providing our most promising young leaders the opportunity to study overseas at distinguished institutions and then working with them on their return, the foundation does a great service not only to its scholars as individuals, but to the advancement of Australian society.

Since inception, the foundation has awarded 264 scholarships, 24 of those to South Australia recipients, a number of whom I am very pleased are with us today.

Some of these alumni, such as Dr Ashley Kingsborough and Dr Olivia Oliver, have worked extensively on ensuring water security for our state.

Others, such as Dr Amy McLennan, a systems thinker with UniSA and the ANU, are working at the intersection of health, society, technology and food.

Others, such as Alexander Makarowsky, are driving innovation in the private sector, creating software to address challenges in the energy sector as it pursues decarbonisation.

A number of our alumni are also based interstate and overseas; creating a network of individuals of distinction and influence who proudly call themselves South Australian.

Bolstered by the support of their scholarships, as well as the foundation’s alumni community, these scholars are making significant contributions to the betterment of our community, in the spirit of General Sir John Monash’s own contribution to Australian life.

In other words, they are having the sort of leadership impact which the foundation has been established to support.

I would particularly like to congratulate South Australia’s latest scholar, Dr Alyssa Pradhan, a medical doctor undertaking advanced training in infectious diseases, who wishes to build on this knowledge with studies in machine learning and artificial intelligence.

I wish Dr Pradhan every success with her future PhD.


I thank the foundation for fostering our brightest minds; those whose overseas study will benefit Australia’s future and develop our international networks and capabilities.

I am also pleased by the foundation’s efforts to engage with students reflecting the breadth of Australian society in terms of diversity of age, gender, ethnicity and educational opportunity.

Over its lifetime the foundation has continued to grow, from its initial government investment in 2001, with further contributions from state governments, corporate supporters, private donors and universities.

I thank everyone here today whose support makes the work of the foundation possible.

You are making a substantial contribution to building a better future for our state and nation.

Congratulations to the foundation on reaching 20 years. I look forward to continue to see your alumni make a distinguished mark upon our society and the world even as I am keen to work with you to increase the number of South Australian scholars.

Coming events