Ten resilient and beautiful native Candlebark eucalyptus trees have been planted on the ANU campus to celebrate a decade of Australia’s most transformative undergraduate university scholarship.

Launched in 2013 with a $50 million donation from ANU graduate Dr Graham Tuckwell and his wife Dr Louise Tuckwell, the Tuckwell Scholarship Program has provided 260 exceptional high school students from 238 schools, representing every state and territory, with a scholarship to study at ANU covering financial, accommodation, study and travel costs.

In 2016 the Tuckwells contributed an additional $100 million to the program to build two on-campus residences as well as ensure the scholarship was funded in perpetuity – marking the single largest gift to ANU in the University’s history. 

From left: Tuckwell Scholar Jasmine Pearson, Dr Louise Tuckwell, Dr Graham Tuckwell and Professor Grady Venville plant a Candlebark tree on the ANU campus. Photo: Jamie Kidston/ANU

Speaking at the special tree planting ceremony on the leafy banks of Sullivan’s Creek on the ANU Acton campus, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Grady Venville paid “special tribute to the spirit, generosity and philanthropy” of Graham and Louise Tuckwell.

“We are all so pleased that you are an integral part of The Australian National University and our community,” Professor Venville said.

“Ten years ago this month, the first Tuckwell Scholars arrived on the ANU campus.

“Today I am delighted to present the University’s gift to recognise 10 years of this visionary program; 10 trees alongside Sullivan’s Creek and close to [the Tuckwell] Scholars’ house – the home of the program.

“It’s fitting that to mark a domestic undergraduate scholarship that attracts exceptional school-leavers from across Australia we are planting trees that are endemic to this region – Candlebark trees.

“The trees are endearing recognition of this extraordinary program and partnership between the Tuckwell family and ANU, as we welcome the 11th cohort of scholars to the program.”

At the ceremony attended by more than 170 special guests, including past and current scholars, Dr Louise Tuckwell said she could not think of a more appropriate way to celebrate 10 years of the Tuckwell Scholarship Program.

“The symbolism of trees is appropriate for what this program represents – growth, strength and stability for those seeking it and this is what I hope to see in our scholars,” she said.

“But a whole row of trees; what could be better? It is something that everyone on the campus, as well as those who visit, can now enjoy.

“Trees are also interconnected. A group of trees acts as one social network. They communicate and look after each other.

“It’s wonderful to think of these trees, growing and sending down roots that connect for their entire lives. Even better, they will be part of an interdependent community.

“I can’t think of a better way to commemorating our scholarship and I look forward to watching these trees grow.”

Every year, the Tuckwell Scholarship Program offers 25 talented school-leavers the opportunity to fulfil their potential by actively participating in the very best that ANU has to offer.

More than 135 scholars have graduated from the program with another 115 currently enrolled at ANU – including 30 students from low SES and 75 from remote, regional and rural backgrounds.  

With more alumni than scholars, the Tuckwell network has become international, with many graduates going on to be Rhodes Scholars as well as Fulbright, Ramsey, John Monash and Westpac scholarship recipients. 

The Program has also graduated many doctors, PhD students and university medallists who are located across Australia and around the world.  

“I consider the Tuckwell Scholarship Program as a jewel in the ANU crown,” Dr Fiona Scotney, Director of the Tuckwell Scholarships Program, said. 

“One of the unique features of the Program is our commitment to support students in staying connected with their communities by assisting them with travel costs home twice a year.” 

The tenth anniversary of the Tuckwell Scholars Program continues with a series of special events at ANU over the weekend.

Learn more about the program at https://tuckwell.anu.edu.au/

Top image: Dr Graham and Dr Louise Tuckwell speak at special tree planting ceremony marking 10 years of the Tuckwell Scholarship Program. Photo: Jamie Kidston/ANU

You may also like

Article Card Image

Tatts all, folks: Graduate leaves ANU with more than just a PhD

Some graduates hang their diploma up on a wall to mark their achievements. Tim McInerney got a tattoo on his butt.

Article Card Image

Giant of climate science honoured at inaugural Will Steffen lecture

Emeritus Professor Will Steffen has been remembered as a “giant” of climate science at the inaugural lecture held in his name at ANU.

Article Card Image

A sign for good: the ANU community boosting sign language users

The grassroots club made up of ANU students and staff has already boosted the number of sign language users in Canberra.

Subscribe to ANU Reporter