The Old Melburnians Dick Cotton Fellowship

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Enabling young Old Melburnians to continue practicing Melbourne Grammar School’s Values in Action.


The Dick Cotton Fellowship provides a cash grant of up to $5,000 to support and encourage Old Melburnians aged 30 and under to act for the benefit of others.

Funds can be used for training, study, travel or other expenses related to a project or volunteer work which helps communities and people in need. Old Melburnians aged 30 or under are encouraged to apply as groups or individuals. Multiple projects may be funded when applications are less than the total annual funding pool available.

In accordance with Melbourne Grammar School’s ambition to seek opportunities to work in partnership with and alongside Indigenous communities, the selection process in 2022 will give preference to Fellowship applications seeking funding to connect with and strengthen Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

Dick Cotton Fellows are ambassadors within the wider School community. The Fellowship enables a continuing connection with the School and Fellows serve as role models to current students and other Old Melburnians.

The award is a cash grant of up to $5,000.

The 2021 recipient Tom Akhurst (OM 2016) says:

I am incredibly grateful for support to enable me to train with Lifeline and join its ranks as a telephone crisis support worker. As humans, we rely on each other for comfort, reassurance and understanding. Sadly, many people do not have access to that important human connection. This is the void Lifeline works tirelessly to help fill.”

Old Melburnians Council Member and General Manager of The Smith Family, Anton Leschen (OM 1983) leads this initiative and would be pleased to discuss your application.

Anton says: “My career in community service has taught me how rewarding it is to help others. The Dick Cotton Fellowship is a resource that can enable you to help people facing hardship.  I encourage you to marshal your passion, skill, and networks, and use this opportunity to put your ideas into action.“

Read more about 2019 and 2020 fellowship recipients Shaun Edwards (OM 2011) and Liv Vizard (OM 2015) here.


Applications must address the questions in the application form. Applicants must include a detailed itinerary of the proposed travel (if relevant), and two supporting referee letters.

The Dick Cotton Fellowship is governed by the Old Melburnians Council. Details of eligibility, consideration, shortlisting and selection of successful applications for funding is outlined in the Dick Cotton Fellowship Governance policy here.

The Old Melburnians Dick Cotton Fellowship is led by Old Melburnian Council Member Anton Leschen (OM 1983). Anton is willing to speak with interested applicants. Please email [email protected] or phone +61 3 9865 7682

Applications for the 2023 Fellowship will open mid 2023.