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Five fellowships awarded during Melbourne Knowledge Week

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Five fellowships awarded during Melbourne Knowledge Week

Fellowships awarded across the arts, education, and healthcare & medical research

Friday, 31 October 2014

A French horn player, a bioinformatician, two science teachers and a researcher building a low-cost, electricity-free oxygen concentrator have received the 2014 Hugh Rogers Fellowships presented by the Melbourne Boston Sister Cities Association and the City of Melbourne during Melbourne Knowledge Week.

The recipients, who received their fellowships on Thursday, 30 October 2014 at the Melbourne Town Hall, included three women and two men selected from a large pool of high-quality applications to travel to Boston and continue their studies and research. 

In the area of education, fellowships were awarded to Mr Sandor Kazi and Ms Emily Rochette, both science teachers from Melbourne Girls College with a focus on promoting science education among female students. An arts fellowship was awarded to Ms Susan de Weger, a French horn player interested in developing entrepreneurship among musicians. In the healthcare & medical research category, fellowships were awarded to Dr Bryn Sobott from the University of Melbourne who is working on a medical device that could assist people living in poverty, and Dr Natalie Thorne from the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance who will bring back experience in large scale genome testing.

The City of Melbourne Fellowship, awarded to an applicant who works within the city boundaries, was presented to Dr Natalie Thorne based at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

The five fellows will travel to Boston over the next six months to visit leading institutions including MIT, prestigious Boston schools, the New England Conservatory, Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The purpose of the Hugh Rogers Fellowships is to encourage and support innovative people and ideas by funding research and projects that expand and enhance Melbourne and Boston’s reputations as centres of knowledge excellence in three areas of research and practice. These areas of focus are education, healthcare and medical research, and the arts.

Depending on the quality of applications and the availability of funds in each year, one or more of the fellowships may be awarded in these nominated areas of endeavour. Selected by a panel of prominent experts, fellowships are awarded to practitioners and researchers in the early stages of their careers. Each fellowship is intended to assist the longer term development of the fellow’s career by furthering their professional skills, research or project and by providing them with opportunities to create new professional networks.

The official announcement event, which formed part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, included a showcase of the 2013 Hugh Rogers Fellows and an update on their collaborations with Boston.

Dr Bryn Sobott with Mr Rob Trenberth AMSusan de Weger entertaining the crowdThe 2014 recipients of the Hugh Rogers Fellowships and selection panel members
Mr Sandor Kazi with supporters of Hugh Rogers Fellowships and MBSCAMr Rob Trenberth AM with Ms Emily Rochette and Dr Natalie ThorneMr Robert Trenberth AM with City of Melbourne's Kathy Knowles
Susan de Weger performing on Melbourne Town Hall PorticoMs Susan de Weger with Mr Robert Trenberth AM