Words by Will Higginbotham
University of Melbourne students will benefit from a new scholarship created in memory of Alexander and Bridget Jones, who lost their lives in last year’s Swanston Street wall collapse.
The Alexander and Bridget Jones Memorial Scholarship, funded by the university and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, will support students coming from regional areas.
Alexander and Bridget were walking together when the wall collapsed suddenly due to strong winds in March last year. Alexander died shielding his sister from the falling bricks.
Judith Heron, from Melbourne Scholarships, said the scholarship had been created to ensure the siblings’ legacy continued. “In consultation with parents Ian and Sue Jones, the scholarship honours the contribution Bridget and Alexander Jones made to the university,” she said.
In a press release, Ian and Sue Jones said they were proud that the scholarship was set up in memory of their children. “Alexander and Bridget loved their time at the University of Melbourne and we are proud that the university and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have established these scholarships in their honour.”
Up to eight students will receive the scholarship each year. They will receive a total of $13,500 dollars over the course of their undergraduate degree, as well as $2,500 to support an exchange or study abroad experience.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chairman, Robert Johanson, told Farrago he hoped the scholarships would allow recipients to enjoy the benefits of tertiary education.
“Rural and regional students often find it harder to access further education because of the costs associated with moving to city centres,” he said.
“We hope these scholarship recipients will be able to enjoy the intellectual and social stimulation that university life can bring, just as Alexander and Bridget had.”
Monash University has also introduced a scholarship fund in memory of Marie-Faith Fiawoo, a researcher and the third victim of the wall collapse.