The Norman A. Smith Memorial Scholarship honours the memory of a man who was an active member of the RSL from 1947 until his death in November, 1982, and who worked tirelessly to assist ex-service people in the many problems that confronted them after their discharge from the services following the conclusion of the Second World War in 1945. As an executive member of the Victorian Branch of the RSL, Norman expressed keen interest and concern in the welfare and personal development of young people through their education. He was also intensely interested in and involved with competitive sport as an administrator and encouraged young people to take an interest and participate in sporting activities and in their physical fitness. The Scholarship was established in 1986 and has been awarded each subsequent year to Year 10 students enrolled in schools within the City of Monash or reside within the council boundaries.
This year, Salesian College had three students apply for the prestigious scholarship. Successful applicants were then required to undertake an extraordinary amount of work on top of their academic requirements at school. Unfortunately, on this occasion, the recipient of the award went to a student at another school. However, in order to reach the final five, students were required to undertake a gruelling selection process which involved giving up several of their own weekends and evenings.
First, students were required to be endorsed by their teachers (including the Principal), undertake a research assignment that required contacting various agencies including the Australian War Memorial, Shrine of Remembrance, the Department of Veteran Affairs and various RSLs around Victoria.
They then had to undertake an exam held on a cold Saturday morning where the top five achievers (narrowed down from about 150) would be selected to undertake further interviews with the panel before doing a presentation to a group of school, council and RSL representatives which took place on Thursday 12 September.
At this event, the scholarship recipient was announced and was given the opportunity to have their name added to the Scholarship honour roll. To quote Col John Coulson (Chairman of the Norman A Smith Memorial Committee), “In order to reach the final five, you must have been selected from amongst the very best. Unfortunately on this occasion, only one can win”.
Despite the apparent shortfall on this occasion, I can only reflect and say that life is like a game of poker “you cannot choose the cards you have been dealt, but you can choose the hand that you play”.
I’d like to take this opportunity to formally recognise, acknowledge and commend our current Year 10 Savio House Captain and finalist for the 2019 Norman A Smith Memorial Scholarship; Steven Tran.
Year 10 Coordinator