In May 2016, we undertook a review of the Trust’s scholarship grants history. Education and vocational pathways has always been an area of interest for HMSTrust, and we were aware that the Trust had approved a significant number of scholarship and fellowship grants over the past 48 years. What we didn’t know was how many of the grants had established perpetual scholarship funds, how many were for a fixed period of time and how many beneficiaries had received a Helen Macpherson Smith Trust scholarship.
Women, Indigenous, and rural and regional Victorians are key target groups for the Trust, which is reflected in the proportion of scholarships targeting these specific beneficiaries. 12% of funding for scholarships and fellowships has been for women and girls, 16% for rural and regional young Victorians and 24% to Indigenous students.
As a direct outcome of the review, we have started to connect with our scholars. It is a joy to listen to their personal journeys and to gain insights into the impact that the scholarship has had on their lives and careers, and many have expressed an interest in staying connected with the Trust and the work that we do.
25 years of the Helen Macpherson Smith Fellowship for women at the Melbourne Business School.
In October this year, we celebrated the career highlights of our 45 Helen Macpherson Smith Fellows at MBS. It was a tremendous opportunity to meet many of these impressive women and to share their stories. A common theme emerged which was captured in a quote from Claire Rogers (MBA 1995), former Head of Digital Banking ANZ and the first woman to lead World Vision Australia. Claire says of her Helen Macpherson Smith Fellowship: “The scholarship was a financial blessing, a confidence builder and the impetus for my employer to sit up and take notice… the scholarship enabled a great career that continues to delight and surprise me in new ways.”
At the Melbourne Business School dinner for past recipients of the Helen Macpherson Smith Fellowship.
In addition to supporting six local Indigenous students with full secondary school scholarships at Geelong Grammar School and Goulburn Valley Grammar School, the Trust established the prestigious Hutchinson Indigenous Fellowship at the University of Melbourne. This perpetual fellowship provides an annual cash grant of $45,000 to a Victorian Indigenous artist to undertake a project of their choice utilising the resources of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Conservation.
2016 Indigenous scholarship recipients at Goulburn Valley Grammar School
The 2016 Hutchinson Indigenous Fellow is Josh Muir from Ballarat
At the age of 24, Josh Muir is already forging an award-winning career. 2016 has proved an extraordinary year for Josh with his acclaimed projection on the façade of the National Gallery of Victoria for White Night, a major commission for the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, a one-man show at Mars Gallery and an end-of Fellowship show at the VCA. The Hutchinson Fellowship came at a critical time in Josh’s life, and he writes: “I thank the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and the VCA for this opportunity. The funding level has allowed me to move to Melbourne and soak up new influences. It’s an opportunity almost too good to believe.”
The 12-month residency has provided Josh with a base at the VCA, access to people that inspire him, and the ability to live independently in Melbourne. The Trust purchased one of Josh’s works from his show at the Mars Gallery. Titled ‘Free’, the work features the magpie in full flight, which was the central image in his projected animation on the NGV façade. For Josh, the magpie represents family, a symbol of respect, trust and reflection.
Josh Muir in front of his work "Free".