World War I Remembrance and Posthumous Award Ceremony
From the Nominator
The centenary of the armistice of World War I inspired the faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to explore the legacy of students from its precedent institution (Melbourne College of Pharmacy, est 1881) who served Australia. Monash University was established in 1958; consequently, today’s faculty is the only part of Monash University whose students served in World War I under Sir John Monash. Nineteen pharmacy students served in the armed forces–and four were killed in battle. We honoured their lives by conferring a posthumous Bachelor of Pharmacy in their name, at a bespoke graduation event on April 30, 2019. We also recognised a fifth pharmacy student soldier who returned from the war but died by suicide less than a decade after the armistice as the result of his wartime experiences.
From the Judges
In a time when we as a world are perhaps forgetting important lessons of history, especially those learned in the earlier part of the 20th Century, the timing of this project feels especially meaningful. As one of our judges said, “Wow, where to begin with this?” The entire idea is so moving and lovely. The research and video stories are impressive and deeply affecting, and the artwork is beautiful. Seeing a son accept the certificate for his father was very powerful and such a reminder that an important part of the work we do with our events is connect people to our institutions. Several of us were moved to tears reviewing the materials in this nomination. This entry deserves a Grand Gold for the uniqueness of the idea, and the fact that it seemed to be generated just because, as the program said, “the least we can do is remember.” The dignity of the ceremony itself was so carefully thought out, with great attention to detail, such as the idea of a bespoke botanical for each man, which was a lovely connection to pharmacy’s connection to that field. Every aspect of this event was conducted with great care.