Inaugural Hansen Scholars announced

Hansen Scholars Patron, Jane Hansen
Hansen Scholars Patron, Jane Hansen (right) with the Governor of Victoria, The Hon. Linda Dessau and Ms Dessau's husband, Mr Anthony Howard.

The University of Melbourne has announced the selection of its first intake of Hansen Scholars.

Twenty students from around Australia, who are due to complete Year 12 later this year,  will commence their scholarships in 2020.

The Hansen Scholars will be supported for the full three years of their Bachelor degrees which includes accommodation, a living allowance, mentoring and pastoral care, as well as academic, cultural, career and other development opportunities.

The scholars will move into the purpose-built residence Little Hall, due for completion in 2020.

The Hansen Scholarship Program is a new, flagship undergraduate scholarship program at the University of Melbourne that will enable high-achieving students who face economic or other barriers to thrive at university and achieve their potential.

More than 500 applications for Hansen Scholarships were received. The successful applicants represent government, Catholic and independent schools in metropolitan and regional areas around Australia. They were chosen via a selection process involving written applications, references, video submissions and interviews.

Hansen Scholarship Program Director Dr Heather Benbow said: “The 40 students chosen for the final round of assessment impressed us with their academic achievements, their resilience, resourcefulness, creativity and willingness to serve others. The awardees are our first cohort and will have a special role in helping to shape this transformative program for future generations.”

Among the selected scholars are:

  • A light-plane pilot who flew around Australia promoting STEM education
  • A young woman who campaigned successfully for her school to allow girls to wear trousers
  • A budding musician who has played a lead role in mentoring other school musicians
  • An Indigenous student passionate about promoting education in her community
  • A two-time Youth Achiever of the Year from a rural city
  • A future marine scientist who has interned at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies.

The Hansen Scholarship Program was established when the Hansen Little Foundation made the largest ever gift to the University of Melbourne for the benefit of students in 2018.

Program Patron Jane Hansen said: “The crafting of the Hansen Scholarship Program supports our belief that equality of opportunity is fundamental to a fair and just society. We are delighted to offer a promising future to our first intake of very impressive and highly aspirational young Australians.”

More information about the Hansen Scholarship program.