The University of Melbourne, in association with the Melbourne Rebels,
is offering a tertiary education scholarship to the value of $14,000 as part of the

Applications are encouraged from rugby players who exhibit the qualities
of academic endeavour, leadership and sporting excellence.

Award Scholarship Benefits

The University of Melbourne Rugby Young Achiever Award will be announced at the final Weary Dunlop Club luncheon at Crown Palladium. The Award Recipient will receive a scholarship up to the value of $14,000. This scholarship is inclusive of:

  • - $2,500 Tertiary Scholarship from the University of Melbourne ¹
  • - $2,500 Rugby Scholarship from the Melbourne University Rugby Football Club ²
  • -$9,000 Melbourne University Sport Winged Victory Scholarship ³



¹ The Rugby Young Achiever Award does not provide guaranteed admission to the University of Melbourne. Applications to study at the University of Melbourne must be made through VTAC. Where the award recipient is not offered a place to study at the University of Melbourne, the Tertiary Scholarship will still be provided should the recipient enrol at another Victorian tertiary institution in 2016.
² Provision of the Rugby Scholarship is contingent on the award recipient joining the Melbourne University Rugby Football Club for the 2016 season and will be payable in two installments of equal value in April and July, 2016.
³ The Melbourne University Sport Winged Victory Scholarships are contingent on studying at the University of Melbourne and will be facilitated as part of the Elite Athlete Program.


Nominations re-open May 2015

The University of Melbourne Rugby Young Achiever Award is open to Australian domestic Year 12 students only. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how they exhibit the qualities academic endeavour, leadership and sporting excellence in their application. Endorsement from school and community rugby club (where applicable) is also required. Multiple nominations from a school are encouraged.

Nominations close Friday 4th September, 2015

For further details please email young-achiever@unimelb.edu.au with any queries.

Download the nomination form



Past Rugby Young Achiever Award Recipients


Award Recipient

Award Runner-up

Award Runner-up


Sione Tuipulotu
(St Kevin’s College)

Ryhs Griffiths
(Ivanhoe Grammar)

Robert Renzella
(Melbourne Grammar)


Nicholas Gillies 
(St Kevin’s College)

Nathaniel Karam 
(Ivanhoe Grammar)

Aidan Slack
(St Kevin’s College)


Brendan Westney(Haileybury)

Jack Kennedy
(St Kevin’s College)

Nathan Mitchener
(St Kevin’s College)


Stefan Prelevic(Melbourne High)

Antony James
(Melbourne Grammar)

Andrew Gillies
(St Kevin’s College)


Australian schoolboy, Sione Tuipuloto is Young Achiever for 2014

2014 - YAA Recipient Sione Tuipuloto

Sione Tuipulotu from St. Kevin’s College is the winner of the 2014 University of Melbourne Rugby Young Achiever Award. The award was announced at the Melbourne Rebels’ Weary Dunlop Luncheon at Crown Palladium in front of more the 500 guests on Thursday 16 October.

The star number 12 from Victorian Secondary Schools Rugby Union (VSRU) Division 1 champions St. Kevin’s had an outstanding year of rugby in 2014. Besides leading his school to their third successive VSRU title, Tuipulotu was also a member of the Melbourne Rebels U17 squad, the Victorian Schools U18 team and the Australian Schoolboys team who recently returned from a tour of New Zealand.

Tuipulotu has also been an active participant in his school’s community outreach and charitable activities. He hopes to study for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne in 2015.

In accepting the award, the humble young man thanked the University and the Rebels for offering such an incentive for up-and-coming rugby players. He also paid tribute to his team-mates and school.

“I’d especially like to thank Mr Bob Windle, my coach at St. Kevin’s, for his guidance on the rugby field over these past years, and my parents for the encouragement and support”, said Tuipulotu.

Besides the honour of being named the fourth University of Melbourne Rugby Young Achiever, the $7,000 award provides Tuipulotu with a $2,500 academic scholarship, a $2,500 rugby scholarship and an additional series of in-kind support valued at $2,000 from the University’s Elite Athlete Program. (In 2015 the scholarship will be increased to $14,000)

Tuipulotu won the award from Rugby Young Achiever finalists Rhys Griffiths of Ivanhoe Grammar and Robert Renzella from Melbourne Grammar, who were announced as runners-up. Both runners-up will receive a Peter Hone rugby scholarship valued at $3,500.

(from left) - Tim Lee (Director of Sport, Melbourne University) Robert Renzella, Sione Tuipuloto, David Griffiths (representing Rhys Griffiths)

The two other short-listed applicants for the award, Thomas Bullwinkle of Geelong Grammar and Luke Iacono of Xavier College, were offered $1,500 scholarships from the University’s Elite Athlete Program while each 2014 applicants for the award will receive a $750 scholarship.

Stage 1 Sport Scholarships and Elite Athlete Entry Scheme applications for 2015 are now open and further information can be found on Melbourne University Sport’s Elite Athlete Program webpage.


Elite Athlete Program

The University of Melbourne provides a range of other support for elite and emerging student-athletes via its Elite Athlete Program.

This support includes additional sport scholarship support from Melbourne University Sport and/or affiliated sporting clubs, international travel grants, subsidies to represent the University at University and Varsity Sport competitions, aquatic and fitness memberships, strength and conditioning advice and physiotherapy services. The Elite Athlete Program also offers tutorial support, mentoring with prominent business and sporting alumni, various professional development opportunities and international exchanges.

Course entry consideration (future students) and flexible study assistance (current students) is also available to student-athletes recognised under the University’s Elite Athlete and Performers Entry Scheme and Elite Athlete and Performers Procedure, respectively.

Photo Gallery

0032013 - YAA Recipient Nicholas Gillies

003The Melbourne Rebels Luke Jones with Brendan Westney, recipient of the 2012 Rugby Young Achiever Award.

003(from left) - Tim Lee (Director of Sport, Melbourne University) Nathan Mitchener, Brendan Westney, Jack Kennedy and Stefan Prevelic (2011 Recipient)

003Young Achiever Award recipients onstage (2011)

Simon Davis, Professor Robert Saint, Julian Huxley, Antony James, Stefan Prelevic & Joy Gillies (representing her son Andrew) on the stage at the Weary Dunlop Lunch, November 10, 2011


Our "Weary"

Weary Dunlop statue

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Ernest Edward "Weary"
Dunlop, AC, CMG, OBE (12 July 1907 – 2 July 1993)

Edward Dunlop grew up in Wangaratta, Victoria and attended Benalla High School. He started an apprenticeship in pharmacy when he finished school, and moved to Melbourne in 1927. There, he studied at the Victorian College of Pharmacy and then the University of Melbourne, where he obtained a scholarship in medicine. He graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1934 with first class honours in pharmacy and in medicine.

Whilst at university, Dunlop took up rugby union, commencing as a fourth grade player with the Melbourne University Rugby Club in 1931. He made a lightning-fast progression through the grades, to state and then to the national representative level becoming the first Victorian-born player to represent the Wallabies. He made his national representative debut against the All Blacks at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 23 July 1932 as a number 8. In the first Test of 1934 he again appeared for Australia, this time as a lock.

Australia won the match 25-11, and two weeks later the second and final match of that year's Bledisloe Cup series finished in a draw. Although Dunlop missed that match due to injury he stands as a member of the first Wallaby squad to have won the Bledisloe Cup away from New Zealand. Posthumously, in June 2008, he was inducted into the Wallaby Hall of Fame. To date, he is the only Victorian so honoured.

Dunlop had been a school cadet, and he continued his part-time army service until 1929, when his service ceased under pressure from his pharmacy studies. He re-enlisted in 1935 and was commissioned into the Australian Army Medical Corps on 1 July with the rank of Captain. In May 1938 Dunlop left Australia for London by boat. He was the ship's medical officer. In London he attended St Bartholomew's Medical School and in 1938 became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

weary dunlop in action

At the outbreak of World War II, Dunlop was appointed directly from London as VX259, to medical headquarters in the Middle East, where he developed the mobile surgical unit. In Greece he liaised with forward medical units and Allied headquarters, and at Tobruk he was a surgeon until the Australian Divisions were withdrawn for home defence. His troopship was diverted to Java in an ill-planned attempt to bolster the defences there. On 26 February 1942, he was promoted to temporary lieutenant-colonel. Dunlop became a Japanese prisoner of war in 1942 when he was captured in Bandung, Java, together with the hospital he was commanding.

Because of his leadership skills, he was placed in charge of prisoner-of-war camps in Java, despite not being the senior ranking officer there. He was later transferred briefly to Changi, and in January 1943 commanded the first Australians sent to work on the Thai segment of the Burma-Thailand railway. After being held in a number of camps in Java, he was eventually moved to the Thai-Burma railway, where prisoners of the Japanese were being used as forced labourers to construct a strategically important supply route between Bangkok and Rangoon. Conditions in the railway camps were primitive and horrific — food was totally inadequate, beatings were frequent and severe, there were no medical supplies, tropical disease was rampant, and the Japanese required a level of productivity that would have been difficult for fully fit and properly equipped men to achieve.

weary dunlop rugpy team

Along with a number of other Commonwealth Medical Officers, Dunlop's dedication and heroism became a legend among prisoners. A courageous leader and compassionate doctor, he restored morale in those terrible prison camps and jungle hospitals. Dunlop defied his captors, gave hope to the sick and eased the anguish of the dying. He became, in the words of one of his men, a lighthouse of sanity in a universe of madness and suffering. His example was one of the reasons why Australian survival rates were the highest on record.

After 1945, with the darkness of the war years behind him, Dunlop forgave his captors and turned his energies to the task of healing and building. He was to state later that, in suffering we are all equal. He devoted himself to the health and welfare of former prisoners-of-war and their families, and worked to promote better relations between Australia and Asia. He also served with surgical teams in another theatre of war, in Vietnam, in 1975.
He was active in many spheres of endeavor. In his own field of surgery, he pioneered new techniques against cancer. He became closely involved with a wide range of health and educational organizations, and his tireless community work had a profound influence on Australians and on the peoples of Asia. As well as numerous tributes and distinctions bestowed upon him in his own country, he received honors from Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.

In addition to his knighthood in 1967, 'Weary' Dunlop received many honours and awards throughout his life, including; the Order of the British Empire (1947); Companion of the Order of Australia (1987), Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St John of Jerusalem (1992), Knight Grand Cross (1st Class) of the Most Noble Order of the Royal Crown of Thailand (1993); Honorary Fellow of the Imperial College London; Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh; Honourary Life Member of the Returned and Services weary dunlop's murfc team photoLeague of Australia; and Life Governor of the Royal Women's Hospital and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. 'Weary' Dunlop has also received the honour of having the Canberra suburb of Dunlop named after him in 1993.

In 1976 he was named Australian of the Year and in 1988 he was named one of '200 Great Australians' (and according to his sons John and Alex, surely one of Australia's 200 worst motor car drivers!). His image is on the 1995 issue Australian fifty cent coin with the words They Served Their Country in World War II, 1939 - 1945, surrounded by strands of barbed wire!

'Weary' Dunlop also has a platoon named after him in the Army Recruit Training Centre, Blamey Barracks, Kapooka. Weary Dunlop Platoon is a holding platoon to recruits that want to leave recruit training.

The University of Melbourne Young Achiever Award will honour the spirit of Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop in its search for a student player who exemplifies the attributes that he made famous: leadership, academic endeavour and sporting excellence.

Subscribe here for more information

Tim Davidson

"As part of the RaboDirect Rebels Five Star pledge, the Club continues to endorse the opportunity to have balance, and a life outside of the profession Rugby environment.

To be an ambassador for The University of Melbourne's Young Achiever Award Is a huge honour. It provides a genuine road for local schoolboys to become a Rebel, and the opportunity to receive a world class tertiary education in Melbourne.

The program will continue to search for students who demonstrate excellence, not just on the field and in the class, but also within their respective community."

Tom English


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Melbourne University Rugby Football Club (MURFC) is a foundation Club of the Victorian Rugby Union and has been an active participant since 1909 in the Victorian Premier Division, which is the leading level of rugby in Melbourne.

MURFC fields 3 teams in the Division across First, Second, and Third Grades. In 2011 we have 2 Colts (U21) teams and an over 35′s “Gents” team. Our members traditionally come from around the world including France, Ireland, New Zealand, Wales and the Pacific Islands. Joining MURFC is an excellent way to meet people if you are new to Melbourne and want to establish local and international social and professional contacts.