Tyron ‘TJ’ Bin-Hitam Keeffe (OM 2021) personifies the character and calibre of the students who receive a Melbourne Grammar education. A recipient of the generosity of our Indigenous Bursary Program, his story also demonstrates the enduring values and lessons that underpin one of Australia’s leading schools.
“You can’t be what you can’t see,” he says. “A Melbourne Grammar education has been a genuinely life-changing opportunity and has given new aspirations to me, my family and my community.”
TJ arrived at Melbourne Grammar in 2019 from his high school in Derby, Western Australia. Melbourne Grammar was a world far removed from his home, necessitating emotional resilience and persistence. He credits the School’s welcoming, diverse and strong culture as being critical to his academic success, which resulted in him studying Commerce and Law at the Australian National University in Canberra.
“The boarding house was critical to me in developing a tight routine and healthy study habits,” TJ explains. “A combination of a competitive environment and a strong pastoral support team helped me to achieve my best and enter my dream university course.”
TJ’s leadership and drive were ever-present during his Melbourne Grammar days. His strong sense of justice and community service were evidenced through his foundation of a school-wide committee tasked with tackling misogyny and gender discrimination, his efforts to form interfaith connections with schools across Victoria, a keen advocacy of Indigenous cultures and reconciliation, and an exchange to Vietnam that assisted local housing projects.
Melbourne Grammar assisted TJ by providing opportunities to explore philanthropic passions and exceptional teaching that inculcated new leadership skills. This could not have occurred without the generosity of committed donors.
“The School taught me skills such as rhetoric, empathy and delegation that are critical to influencing others and which are the hallmarks of effective leadership,” he says.
“It is a ripple effect. These scholarships change a recipient’s life and enable that person in turn to be a role model and to motivate others to explore new horizons.”