Helen Macpherson Smith Trust supporting Melbourne Business School women for more than 25 years
Melbourne Business School recently celebrated over 25 years of support from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust in developing business leadership and management talent opportunities for women.
The Helen Macpherson Smith Fellowship, first awarded in 1990, has nurtured recipients to excel in various industries, and many have gone on to sit on company boards around the world.
At the celebration on 19 October, 10 recipients joined the trust’s chairman Dr Philip Moors AO, trustees, current MBA students, MBS faculty, alumni and professional staff to pay tribute to the Trust, which has distributed more than $100 million to the Victorian community since 1951.
In addition to the fellowships, the Trust has supported Melbourne Business School by funding important research, such as Professor Jody Evans’ project Walking in Two Worlds to develop long-term employment skills and opportunities for the Indigenous community of Victoria’s Goulburn Valley.
The trust also partnered with the School in 2008 to establish the Asia Pacific Social Impact Centre and funds the Helen Macpherson Smith Chair of Leadership for Social Impact, held by Professor Ian Williamson.
Many fellowship recipients are now based overseas, including inaugural recipient and engineer Eva Lindqvist (MBA 1991), who worked for global communications technology company Ericsson early in her career and now sits on the boards of several major European corporations.
A later recipient, Tiziana Pittui (MBA 1998), was the first woman appointed to one of Clark’s Shoes many local boards around the world. She’s now Head of Insights and Information at Devondale Murray Goulburn after holding similar positions at Coles and Forethought Research.
Andrea Murray’s (MBA 1998) fellowship and time at the School led her to establish business venture CCI Consulting with fellow student, Lisa Borden. Their company allows organisations to measure and benchmark satisfaction internally and externally. Andrea’s strong links with the School and MBS alumni helped get her business off the ground, and a fellow alumnus helped sell the company to a NASDAQ-listed group in 2014.
Another recipient, Claire Rogers (MBA 1995) will become the first woman to lead World Vision Australia when she takes over as the charity’s Chief Executive Officer in November. Claire, who was most recently the Head of Digital Banking at ANZ, said, when she embarked on her MBA, the scholarship was “a financial blessing” and enabled her to pursue a great and purposeful career path.
And the latest recipient, Simone Law, brings a smile to many people’s faces, as you might expect from a dental science honours graduate who co-founded a highly successful inner-suburban Melbourne dental practice only a year ago.
Dr Moors said the fellowships were an opportunity to support high-quality female graduates, including some, who, in other circumstances, might not have been able to do so.
2015 recipient Vanessa Whatmough (MBA 2016) said her fellowship meant more than just financial support.
“It offers membership to a community of intelligent, driven women who are on track to make a real difference in the world.”