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Media Release

New Commonwealth Bank scholarship created for marine research

New CBA scholarship created for marine research

Two scholarships awarded for 2017 under Gen Sir John Monash Foundation

Commonwealth Bank is honoured to announce the David Turner John Monash Scholarship, recognising the contribution made by David Turner during his seven years as Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank Board.

The scholarship was formally awarded tonight to Arlie McCarthy at the announcement ceremony for the John Monash Scholars at Sydney Opera House. Ms McCarthy will use the scholarship to fund a doctorate in Marine Biology at the University of Cambridge, where she will continue her research into marine ecosystems, including the Great Barrier Reef. 

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev said: “We are pleased that one of Australia’s premier post-graduate scholarships will be awarded in David Turner’s name in honour of his contribution to the Commonwealth Bank Board in the past seven years. The award to Arlie McCarthy is particularly fitting given David’s personal interest in the Barrier Reef and a sustainable environment more broadly.” 

The annual Commonwealth Bank John Monash Scholarship was also presented this evening. The recipient, Vafa Ghazavi, plans to complete a doctorate in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the University of Oxford. 

Ms McCarthy and Mr Ghazavi were among 20 outstanding young Australians to receive General Sir John Monash Foundation Scholarships to pursue postgraduate studies at leading international universities in the 2017 academic year. 

Commonwealth Bank has supported the General Sir John Monash Foundation since 2004, making it the organisation’s first corporate sponsor. From July 2015, CBA increased its commitment with named scholarships, and four have been awarded to date. This partnership falls under the education component of the bank’s corporate responsibility plan opportunity initiatives.

Jillian Segal AM, Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, said: “The Foundation is delighted to acknowledge the longstanding and ongoing support of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It has been a strong contributor to the Foundation’s mission to invest in postgraduate education and develop Australia’s future leaders. We are thrilled that the bank has chosen to acknowledge the contribution of its retiring Chairman, David Turner, with a special additional scholarship this year.”

About the 2017 John Monash Scholars

Arlie McCarthy has a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) with First Class Honours from The University of Melbourne and a Diploma of Languages in German. She has a Master of Marine and Antarctic Studies from the University of Tasmania, and works for the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. Her PhD will focus on soft-bodied marine predators.

Vafa Ghazavi has a Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences with First Class Honours and the University Medal from The University of Sydney. He was the International Cyber Policy Adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He is completing a Master’s degree in Public Affairs at Harvard University, and his DPhil at Oxford will equip him to address cyber security and other complex threats.

About Opportunity Initiatives 

As one of Australia’s largest companies, we are committed to making a positive contribution to our customers, communities and the economies in which we operate. Opportunity Initiatives is our corporate responsibility plan to drive positive, lasting change through education, innovation and good business practices. Visit us at to find out more.