Towards 2022 - Trinity Seeks Needs-Blind Admissions

[From an address given at the 140th Anniversary Gala Dinner at the Melbourne Museum, August 25th 2012]

Trinity can be seen as many things: a place, a tradition, a set of beliefs. But above all Trinity is people; a community, whose diversity is one of the reasons for its excellence. The faces you see around you - and of course many others we recall - are the reason we are here. Tonight, for these few hours, Trinity is right here.

Trinity is a larger and more diverse institution than at any time in its past; in addition to our residential life, the work of our Foundation Studies program, the Theological School, and Young Leaders' programs for school students all provide unique educational opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to fulfil their potential and impact the wider world, pro ecclesia, pro patria as our motto states.

We do this work in the context of the University of Melbourne, recently confirmed as Australia's, and indeed one of the world's, leading research universities; in that very large community, the resident students of Melbourne's colleges and not least of this one are those who most clearly enjoy an experience comparable to those of the world's leading educational institutions.

Our reality is now global, as well as local. Our students and their ambitions reflect that; and so do those of the College. But the global reality always has a local and a human face; and I invite you to meet a few of these members of your College now.

Those current and recent resident students whose faces have just seen include young people from urban and regional Australia, and from Europe and Asia. They include an indigenous Australian, and an Iraqi refugee; they are young people who are already having impacts in the arts, in scientific and medical research, and in the worlds of ideas and education, and of social service and community leadership. They all received substantial scholarship support, and all of them have had remarkable opportunities because they were at Trinity and the University of Melbourne.

Our success in bringing them to Trinity has depended on the support many alumni and friends have offered, and I thank you for that support.

But now we want to take Trinity's capacity to transform lives to a new level. We intend to take a step so far unique in Australian higher education, and to make our resident community genuinely needs-blind - that is, to offer the opportunity of Trinity's outstanding education and other experiences to the students best-qualified to benefit from it and contribute to it, regardless of their background or financial need. We wish also to increase substantially our ability to offer scholarship support in the Theological School and in Foundation Studies, to make these outstanding educational opportunities increasingly available to new generations of students from various backgrounds.

Although this cost of this vision will change historically and vary from time to time, we believe that we should be seeking to raise an additional endowment of 25 million dollars in today's terms to achieve it. I am delighted to announce that goal to you tonight, and invite you to help the College attain it.

This challenge starts tonight. My hope is that when we gather in ten years time to celebrate the sesquicentenary of the College, we will be able to celebrate this achievement and many more stories, and more faces, whose lives reflect that commitment to excellence, community and diversity which makes them, and us, Trinity.

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