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FFV Scholarships 2024: Honouring tradition and building futures

Freemasons Foundation Victoria recently held the first of two Scholarships Presentation evenings, bringing together supporters and recipients alike. MC Wes Turnbull guided the proceedings, beginning by reflecting on the Foundation's success in attracting applicants this year to fill the room not once but twice, with the second presentation scheduled for a few weeks time.

This year, 119 students received more than $280,000 in awards and scholarships.

All the names of this year’s recipients are included in the brochure below.

Scholarship Presentation Brochure 2024
Download PDF • 9.37MB

The Freemasons Scholarship program has been in existence since 1912 when Arthur Green received the inaugural King Edward VIIth scholarship.  Since that time Victorian Masonic scholarships have been awarded to a value in today’s terms of in excess of $9.1 million.

Chairman Garry James delivered an address highlighting the importance of the scholarships in fostering academic excellence and nurturing future leaders. This years' Freemasons Foundation Victoria 2024 Scholarship ($10,000 per year tenable for the years of an approved full time course) was presented to Bianca Pollard – it was a notable moment, recognising her academic achievements and dedication to community service.

Raised in regional Victoria, Bianca attended Sacred Heart College in Newtown and was a consistent high achiever throughout high school, obtaining an Atar of 90+. Bianca actively volunteered in programs with St Vincents de Paul, assisted with food drives and even did numerous hours in the pool teaching little ones to swim. 

Bianca is now undertaking a Bachelor of Biomedicine at Melbourne University and hopes to further her study by completing a Doctor of Medicine.

The event also featured the presentation of various tertiary awards, including the Sydney George Manefield Residential Scholarship, which was established from a bequest received in 2002, and supports rural students in their tertiary studies. The scholarship ($5000 for three years) was awarded to Lachlan Stone, who attended Cohuna Secondary College in Northern Victoria, and has commenced studying a Bachelor of Design at Swinburne University of Technology.

The Harry Burt Memorial Architecture Scholarship and the Frank Fordyce OAM Civic Scholarship were presented to Casey Clark and Sienna Palamara, respectively. Casey attended Alexandra Secondary College and has commenced studying for a Bachelor of Design (Architecture) at Swinburne University, and Sienna attended Sacred Heart College in Newtown and is now studying for Bachelor of Psychology at Deakin University.

These awards acknowledged their passion and potential contributions to their chosen fields. The attendees were also treated to a presentation from McKeely Hol, the 2023 FFV Scholarship recipient, below right.

Matthew Schofield, Deputy Chair of Freemasons Foundation Victoria presented the FFV Year 11 and 12 awards, serving as encouragement for young students embarking on their educational journey.

Sue Benedykt and Bob Jones, Patrons of the Freemasons Foundation Victoria 1889 Bequest Society, took the podium to present the Freemasons Foundation Victoria Years 7, 8, 9, and 10 Scholarships. The Benedykt family have been supporting Freemason Scholarships for several years, including the Eliezer Benedykt Freemason Music Scholarship at Monash University, and Bob Jones is a former Freemasons Victoria Grand Master.

Following the scholarship presentations, attendees were given a tour of the Lodge room, providing insight into Freemasonry's rich heritage and symbolism.

As the evening concluded, amidst applause and congratulations, it was evident that the Freemasons Foundation Victoria Scholarships not only recognised academic achievement but also celebrated values such as service and perseverance. Through its support, the Foundation continues to empower individuals to pursue their dreams and contribute meaningfully to society.

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