21 May 2015:
The three outstanding performers in their respective fields have been awarded this year’s RG Menzies Scholarships to Harvard.
The scholarships valued at US$60,000 each are Australia's most prestigious national awards for postgraduate study in the United States and are jointly awarded by the Harvard Club of Australia, the Australian National University and the Menzies Foundation.
This year, given the exceptional crop of potential scholars, the Harvard Business School (HBS) Class of 1970 also funded one of the scholarships as they have in the past.
Any comparisons with past politicians are merely coincidence but this crop of Menzies scholars certainly plan to shape the politics of the future.
The thing all three have in common is a clear commitment to social equality, backed up by action.
A lawyer and foreign service officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra, Patrick Mayoh, 27, is equally comfortable speaking Mandarin with world leaders as he is volunteering with St Vincent de Paul’s night patrol van. Following a short stint working in the Australian Embassy in Beijing, Patrick joined DFAT in Canberra, working in the UN Security Council Taskforce, the Free Trade Agreements Division, the North Asia Division and was recently seconded to Parliament’s International Relations Office.
Patrick will study a Masters in Public Policy at the John F Kennedy School of Government and intends to use his strong China expertise and US public policy training to shape Australia’s engagement with both the US and China. He has worked in voluntary roles in Cambodia, Ghana and with the Wadjularbinna Foundation to foster exchanges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
A consultant with McKinsey & Co in Sydney, 25-year-old Andrew Thomas has already co-founded a thriving, community-based sustainable enterprise, the Manjeri School Project Ltd, which has raised over $400,000 in five years for a 300-student school in Uganda. He plans to use his Masters of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School to establish the fledgling social enterprise and early-stage investment sectors in Australia.
Andrew graduated with First Class honours in Law and Economics from the University of Sydney, winning the University medal for economics and achieving the second highest ranking in law. Andrew Thomas's scholarship was funded by the HBS Class of 1970.
Matthew Tyler, 31, of Melbourne, is a policy adviser to Federal Labor MP Clare O’Neil. During his Masters in Public Policy at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Matthew will explore how innovative partnerships between the public and private sectors can overcome rising inequality in Australia. His ambition stems from a broad set of experiences ranging from work with Indigenous Australians in the Kimberley, management consulting for Australia’s biggest companies and policy development as an economist in the Australian Public Service.
A voluntary internship with the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation in New Delhi forged Matthew’s view that Australia must subject social programs to more rigorous evaluation. Matthew was awarded the Monash University Medal for outstanding academic performance during his economics studies.