Melbourne founding partner in $100 million scholarship program

The University of Melbourne has partnered with the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation to establish the largest private education scholarship program in Australian history.

Aerial view of high school studentsThe $100 million dollar fund will provide approximately 100 scholarships every year in perpetuity.

The University will offer three of the five scholarships instigated by Westpac, including Future Leaders, Best and Brightest and Asian Exchange. The programs are expected to be fully operational by 2017.

Deputy Provost Professor Susan Elliott said the University welcomed the addition of the program to the Australian scholarship scene. “The University is thrilled to announce its founding partnership with Westpac Bicentennial Foundation and looks forward to working closely with Westpac to strengthen our existing programs on offer.”

The launch of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation was made by Westpac CEO Gail Kelly and Westpac Chairman Lindsay Maxsted, as part of the bank’s approaching 200th anniversary in 2017.

The University of Sydney was also announced as a founding partner at the launch.

Westpac Group Chairman Mr Maxsted said: “Westpac Bicentennial Foundation is designed to support Australians who are shaping a better Australia, while also supporting and nurturing tomorrow’s leaders, and we are proud to be able to provide around 100 scholarships and awards each year.”

Westpac CEO Mrs Kelly emphasised the link between the new Foundation and Westpac’s long history of supporting communities: “We strongly believe that as a vital part of the Australian community, Westpac has a responsibility to play a role in ensuring we capitalise on every opportunity to help nurture future leaders.”

The scholarship programs include:

Future Leaders scholarships will be awarded to new or recent graduates for post-graduate study at a prestigious global institution. Recipients will come from a wide range of disciplines, with preference given to Australia’s relationship with Asia and Technology & Innovation.

‘Best and Brightest’ program will provide awards to post-doctoral researchers in Australia’s leading research universities. Recipients will be selected based on their research work, which will focus on enhancing Australia’s competitive position in technology and innovation, or strengthening Australia’s ties with Asian economies.

Asian Exchange scholarships will provide the opportunity for Australian undergraduate students to spend a semester at a leading Asian University, with a focus on increasing the number of Asia-literate graduates in Australia.

Information on all scholarships offered through Westpac Bicentennial Foundation can be found at