MBBS Graduate wins Oxford Scholarship

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery graduate Dr Esther Schröder has won a prestigious Scholarship to the University of Oxford from an outstanding field of applicants from around Australia. Esther, who completed her MBBS at Monash last year, was just one of two Australian students to receive an inaugural Provost’s Scholarship to Worcester College at the University of Oxford.

Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery graduate Dr Esther Schröder has won a prestigious Scholarship to the University of Oxford from an outstanding field of applicants from around Australia.

Esther, who completed her MBBS at Monash last year, was just one of two Australian students to receive an inaugural Provost’s Scholarship to Worcester College at the University of Oxford.

Currently working as a medical intern at Bendigo Hospital, Esther will commence her year-long scholarship in January, where she plans to study Philosophy of Mind, Economics of Developing Countries and German Film Studies.

“I would eventually like to work both in Psychiatry and in International Health Projects, with a particular interest in refugee supports,” Esther said.

“So, it's wonderful to have the opportunity to study whichever subjects interest me and that link in well with where I'm coming from and where I'm hoping to go.”

“For my research project, which is part of the Scholarship, I would like to work with the Oxford Refugee Studies Centre, possibly on how the built environment, such as refugee camps and community settlement housing, can be best designed to support the mental health of refugees.”

The scholarship, which is worth close to $90,000 includes University fees, accommodation at Worcester College (Oxford), return airfares, a generous stipend and access to all University of Oxford facilities.

Esther says she was thrilled to receive a recent phone call from Worcester College Provost, Sir Jonathan Bate, informing her she had received the Scholarship.

“I'm very humbled and excited to have been awarded this Scholarship. My interests and passions have always been not just in medicine but also more broadly in social justice, so the chance to be able to study subjects from varied disciplines with world-expert tutors is one that I'm really looking forward to,” she said.

“I also can't wait to experience College life and get involved with all it has to offer. I am very thankful for the generosity of Australian Worcester College alumni for supporting this Scholarship and creating this opportunity for students such as myself, and to Monash for supporting me through the application process.”

During her time at Monash, Esther was a youth ambassador for World Vision Australia and was the President of the Monash branch of VGen, which is World Vision’s Youth Movement.

Her work included important and difficult volunteer work in Ethiopia, South Africa and Vanuatu.

Esther is also a former participant in the Vice-Chancellor's Ancora Imparo Program – Monash’s flagship leadership program.

Now in its twelfth year, the program offers 40 second year students the opportunity to enhance their leadership capabilities through workshops and seminars led by inspiring leaders and involvement in a key community organisation project, with mentoring from a member of the Monash alumni.

Professor David Copolov, AO Pro Vice Chancellor, Major Campuses and Student Engagement, who has been Director of the Ancora Imparo Program since its inception, described Esther as a most worthy recipient of the inaugural Scholarship.

“I’m delighted that someone as dedicated as Esther to serving the needs of people in regions of the world that are seriously affected by poverty, conflict and illness, is being given an unprecedented opportunity to broaden and deepen her scholarship at Oxford in areas that complement her medical education. I have no doubt that she will effectively apply her learnings to humanitarian ends.”

Monash University President and Vice Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AO congratulated Esther on her success and paid especial tribute to her contributions to volunteering.

“Esther has demonstrated tremendous commitment over several years to support people in developing countries who experience privation and suffering,” Professor Gardner said.

“As an important part of that work Esther has encouraged many others to also become involved in volunteering. This undoubtedly played an important role in her being judged to be deserving of this highly competitive and very generous scholarship. I sincerely congratulate her and wish her every success in her studies at Oxford.”

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