Paying it forward

Andrew Michelmore AO (OM 1970), remembers coming to Wadhurst on a scholarship from what was then “the bush” – a world of dairy farmers and swimming in the river.

Now a Rhodes Scholar, a world champion rower, an accomplished businessman and a generous philanthropist, Andrew credits much of his success to a core lesson he learnt at Melbourne Grammar School. "The School gave me the opportunity to participate in so many things," he explains. "But one of the most significant lessons I learnt was from an inspirational teacher, Dr Graham Withers. He taught me how to think my way through a situation – Let’s not react. Let me work my way through this. What are the key issues here? What are the principles involved? – and that has influenced my approach to all aspects of my life."

"I look at the world today and see not enough students liking or understanding Mathematics, even though it’s so fundamental for everything we do," he says. "Not everyone has to be a super mathematician, but everyone should have a level of confidence with it.

Clear thinking and a mathematical approach are fundamental building blocks of learning while at school and beyond."

Last year, Andrew and his mother, Mrs Margaret Michelmore, established a new scholarship – the Michelmore Family Scholarship – to support students who are academically gifted in Mathematics and/or Science and would not otherwise be able to attend Melbourne Grammar. Ideally, the student will also be interested in sport.

The Scholarship is to be offered for the first time this year, with the endowed funds supporting the Michelmore Scholarship in perpetuity.

"I hope my family’s actions will inspire others to make the kind of education Melbourne Grammar offers accessible to more people, be that through financial support or other contributions," Andrew says. "Looking at Melbourne Grammar, you should realise you’re getting the benefit of what other people have put into it, and that, if you can, you should help others have those same opportunities."

Andrew hopes that the Scholarship will ultimately encourage other students to have a significant impact on the community through knowledge generation, industry leadership or policy development. "It’s about thinking beyond the immediate and looking to the future for individuals and for the country," he explains.

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