Don & Lorna Parncutt Scholarship holder, Bevan Chu, discusses the importance of diversity with Scholarship donor, Bruce Parncutt (OM 1968).
When Bruce Parncutt AO (OM 1968) was granted a place at Melbourne Grammar School, he felt it was his duty not to let his father down. “My father struggled monumentally to put six sons through the School, but it was clear that education was important to him,” says Bruce. “The value he put on education is something that’s stayed with me.”
Today, Bruce is recognised for his achievements in business, community service and philanthropy. A distinguished corporate executive, Bruce founded and is the current Chairman of Lion Capital and is a board member of the Australian Ballet. Other board memberships have included the Australian Stock Exchange, the National Gallery of Victoria and Melbourne Grammar School Council.
In 2015, the inaugural Don and Lorna Parncutt Family Scholarship was awarded to Bevan Chu, now in Year 12. The scholarship, established by Bruce and named for his parents, supports a student who would otherwise not be able to attend Melbourne Grammar due to family financial circumstances.
“There’s a significant element of gratitude in it from my family – my brothers and my parents,” Bruce explains. “But the quality of the student population is also important. Bringing students here from other walks of life who don’t have it as easy as others is vital for the School.”
For Bevan, Melbourne Grammar has been a place where he has learned to go above and beyond what’s expected.
“Over my four years here I’ve made an attempt to involve myself in school life as much as possible,” he says. “I’ve been part of the Chapel and School choirs, the Quad
play, and I’m part of the Leslie Gladstone Robertson Society (LGR) committee and (SLIC) Sustainable Living Improvement Committee. After Year 12 I’d ideally like
to study at NYU in Abu Dhabi – a new arts college that highlights cultural diversity and intercultural experiences.”
While Bevan describes his first days at Melbourne Grammar as “daunting”, he emphasises the community’s inclusiveness. “It’s always important to have diversity so you don’t become an elitist group; you stay welcoming,” he says. “There’s a sense of belonging to something greater than yourself here. A sense that in times of strife, others will help you and you’ll always be on hand to help them.”
Bruce adds that educational institutions like Melbourne Grammar are important in showing what is possible in Australian education. “Education is fundamental to where we’re going as a society,” he says. “We don’t have to have all the knowledge, but we have to have the confidence to engage with the world.”
“I’m very proud to be able to support an outstanding student like Bevan who has made the most of the opportunities the School has presented him.”