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High Commissioner announces 2014 Charlie Perkins Scholars

Three Indigenous Australian Scholars will continue their studies at leading UK universities, thanks to the support of the UK Government.

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HC, PM and Scholars

High Commissioner HE Paul Madden (right) with Australian Prime Minister the Hon Tony Abbott MP and the 2014 Charlie Perkins Scholars.

The British High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Paul Madden CMG, last night announced the 2014 recipients of the Charlie Perkins Scholarship, a scheme assisting Indigenous Australians to pursue postgraduate study at Cambridge and Oxford Universities.

Jointly supported by the British Government’s Chevening Scholarship Programme, the Australian Government and Rio Tinto, and managed by the Charlie Perkins Trust, the scholarship programme was established in 2009 in the memory of Dr Charlie Perkins AO, the first Australian Indigenous man to graduate from university.

The High Commissioner introduced the three scholars to the Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Tony Abbott, at Parliament House in Canberra before hosting a ceremony at his residence in the presence of the Minister for Education, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP, recipients’ families and friends, and representatives from Indigenous, academic, government, business and arts organisations.

Minister, Scholars and HC
Education Minister the Hon Christopher Pyne MP (left) and the Charlie Perkins Scholars with High Commissioner HE Paul Madden.

Speaking last night, the High Commissioner said: “The British Government is pleased to be involved in this extremely worthwhile scholarship initiative and I am delighted to be able to announce today we will be sending three scholars to study in the UK at two of the world’s top universities. It was good to see once again such a high calibre of applicants for the scholarship.

“I congratulate this year’s Charlie Perkins Scholars who have each shown exceptional leadership qualities in their academic and personal lives. They will benefit hugely from this experience, which I hope will enable them to make a great contribution to Australian life in their future careers.”

The scholarship is valued at over £50,000 per annum.

The 2014 Charlie Perkins scholars are:

  • Jessica Buck, a descendant of the Kamilaroi people, recently completed a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with Distinction and a Diploma of Languages (Japanese) at the University of Newcastle. Jessica has been accepted to undertake an MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.
  • Jessyca Hutchens, a descendant of the Palyku people of the Pilbara region, graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts in 2010, obtaining her Bachelor of Laws with Distinction, and her Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in Fine Art History. Jessyca has been accepted to both the DPhil in Fine Arts at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford and the MPhil in the History of Art and Architecture at Cambridge.
  • Tamara Murdock, a descendant of the Noongar and Yindjibarndi people, graduated from Edith Cowan University with First Class Honours in a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Management) in 2011. Tamara has been accepted to undertake an MPhil in Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford.

About the scholarship programme

  • Chevening Scholarships are the UK Government’s global scholarship programme, funded mainly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. In Australia, the British High Commission partners with the Charlie Perkins Trust, the Australian Government and Rio Tinto to deliver the aims of the programme.
  • Launched in 2009 at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Canberra, the Charlie Perkins Scholarships are particularly directed towards Indigenous Australians who have the potential to become leaders in the field of study and in their communities.
  • The programme is also supported by the Vice Chancellor and Development Office at Oxford University, the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust, Cambridge Australia Scholarships, the Pratt Foundation and the University of Canberra.
  • For more information visit the website of the Charlie Perkins Trust.
Published 29 August 2014