On being game to have a go

There is something optimistically Australian in Marnie Hughes Warrington’s report on changes in the selection process for the Rhodes Scholarship. (The ANU DVC is the scholarship secretary). Thus she writes of the way encouraging people to apply for a Rhodes Scholarship has expanded the talent pool, “more Australian universities are now participating in Rhodes selection. We have elected our third Indigenous Rhodes Scholar in 113 years, with the second being last year. Griffith University, Curtin University and University of Technology Sydney have won their second ever Rhodes Scholarships. Our shortlists are more culturally diverse and we are slowly making headway in increasing the number of applicants who went to government high schools, particularly in rural and regional areas. “

Which is good – but what is better is how the Rhodes team did it; by answering questions and addressing fears held by people of ability who think they took the wrong sort of degree and not from the right sort of university.

“Appoint selection mentors who can help all applicants to be their best. Do not assume that only people from underrepresented backgrounds need help: not all male applicants are confident. And make sure that when someone comes into an interview room, they feel best able to succeed.”

In short, give people the chance to be game to have a go. Too right.


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