All Saint’s Liverpool assistant priest Fr Joseph Murphy and St Mary’s Cathedral assistant organist Hamish Wagstaff have each earned generous $90,000 scholarships from the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation to undertake postgraduate study overseas.
They are among 31 young Australians who now join the program allowing outstanding young scholars to study at the world’s best universities.
More than 160 applications were received for the scholarships this year, which are valued up to $90,000 each per annum.
The scholars were selected by a panel chaired by NSW Solicitor General Michael Sexton SC and including members of the Ramsay Centre Executive and Board.
“Selection criteria included strength of character, leadership qualities, and commitment to serve others …”
They also include a doctor inspired by Fred Hollows, a naval officer, a mathematician, a lawyer, a quantum physicist, and a paediatric doctor.
Selection criteria included strength of character, leadership qualities, and commitment to serve others as demonstrated by their contribution to the community, public debate or professional involvement.
Outstanding academic achievement, and breadth and depth of intellectual vision, is also important, as is a commitment to advancing a richer and deeper understanding of our civilisation obtained through the study of its history, philosophy, legal and political systems, religion, literature and languages, science and social sciences, music, art and architecture.
Fr Murphy will now study a Master of Philosophy in Philosophical Theology at the University of Oxford.
His prospective thesis considers whether questions of a religious or metaphysical nature can maximise human flourishing and civic engagement, and whether a pluralistic democracy should facilitate pursuit of these questions in educating citizens. He hopes to incorporate this knowledge into his teaching and pastoral work.
Mr Wagstaff will use his scholarship to study a Master of Arts in Organ Performance at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He hopes to advance Australia’s music scene through teaching and performance.
“He wanted younger Australians to share that appreciation by learning more about our heritage and to take the lead in passing that knowledge on to others.”
As statement from the Centre said that its founder and benefactor, the late Paul Ramsay OA, had “a profound sense of gratitude for the opportunities Australia had afforded him, as one of many countries that have benefited from being part of the long continuum of Western civilisation”.
“He wanted younger Australians to share that appreciation by learning more about our heritage and to take the lead in passing that knowledge on to others,” he said.
For more information on our Ramsay Postgraduate Scholarships and how to apply visit: www.ramsaycentre.org/