For students attending the College in 2023 or 2024 we are pleased to be able to offer two scholarships and two bursaries due to the generosity of the supporters of the Chevalier College Foundation.
Each award will cover all or part of the successful applicants’ fees for one or more of their years at Chevalier College. Scholarships are generally for six years and bursaries are supporting payments that may be for shorter periods, subject to financial needs of the student.
These awards are made possible due to the generosity of donors, most of whom are Chevalier Past Students:
All our scholarships and bursaries are intended for students from a family whose financial circumstances would otherwise make it challenging to enrol their child at Chevalier College. In addition, there are other attributes being sought in the young person fortunate enough to be offered these scholarships, such as academic aptitude and involvement in volunteer and extracurricular activities such as sport, music, drama and the like.
Scholarships have competitive criteria but each is also financially means-tested for applicants. Generally the means test indicator would be that a family is in receipt of a government support benefit of some kind. Bursaries have more focus on meeting financial need.
In addition to these awards listed, Chevalier also has MSC Bursaries and a fee relief program for students to support families who could not otherwise afford to enrol at our College but believe it is the best educational option for their child.
This indigenous student scholarship has been donated as part of the Brennan Bursary by David and Helen Brennan. David is a Chevalier Past Student from the Class of 1970 and his family has had a connection with Chevalier dating back to its founding year in 1946 when his uncle Jim Brennan became the 6th student enrolled at the new college. Another uncle, Paul Brennan, came to Chevalier College a few years later and in 1953 achieved outstanding academic results in his Leaving Certificate, winning the prestigious Cooper Scholarship to Sydney University. Paul later was ordained as an MSC priest and he taught for a period at the college.
David studied agricultural science at Sydney University, specialising in animal science and eventually had a career in both government and private company positions working in the field of animal nutrition. His wife Helen was a teacher and later trained as a librarian. The Brennans were blessed with three children: Shelley, who is a speech pathologist; Rory, who is a film and television editor; and Cecilia, who is a podiatrist.
David and Helen have been supporting indigenous causes and scholarships for some time and David had employed indigenous people in his business activities. They see the opportunity to provide Chevalier College with a bursary scholarship directed at indigenous students that would encourage academic achievement and leadership within their own cultural community and also broader society. This financial support will also augment the college’s own cultural education programs among staff and students. The Brennan Bursary is intended to support this program for the next decade.
This scholarship is open to indigenous students, preferably either applicants who already identify as having an indigenous background or who are prepared to self-identify in the future. Those applicants can already be at secondary school, including at Chevalier college itself, or are intending to commence at the college in 2022 or 2023.
The idea for this scholarship grew out of the 2021 Pledge for Chev campaign celebrating the 75th anniversary of the college’s founding in 1946. As it happened 2021 was also the 40th anniversary of the graduating class of 1981.
The Pledge for Chev campaign is intended to call on the support of our past students and community to help the college financially as it heads towards its centenary in 2046. Regular donations over time from a diversity of donors represent a very effective way for Chevalier College and its Foundation Council to plan ahead in the next quarter century.
An anonymous donor from that 1981 class has pledged to donate the equivalent of a full scholarship for six years but other past students from that year are being invited to contribute too, whether anonymously or not. In that way, a larger pool of funds can be created and more students supported with either full or partial scholarships. Back in 2008, the Class of 1968 also sponsored a scholarship to celebrate their 40th graduation anniversary. The idea that class groups of past students can help a future student attend Chev when they might otherwise not be able to do so due to financial constraints, is worth encouraging among our alumni. The truth is that in every year of Chevalier’s history there have been students supported by fee relief who would not been able to enrol without financial support.
Br Dave Merrick was appointed to the MSC staff at Chevalier College in July 1946 and spent almost 23 straight years at Chevalier, until 1968, in a variety of roles from managing the dining room, to maintenance and cooking. During this time, he was instrumental in introducing cycling to Chevalier College and the foundation of the Southern Highlands Cycling Club, with Brian Ward. In 1968, he was transferred to Downlands College in Toowoomba for five years, where he cooked for 450 boys, the MSC community and teaching staff. In 1973, Br Merrick was appointed to the MSC scholasticate in Canberra for one year, where he was responsible for cooking for 35 MSC students and about 10 priests and brothers. He returned to Chevalier College in 1974 as cook and infirmarian. Later he joined the catering staff. Following this stint at Chevalier, Br Merrick worked at Monivae College and then at Daramalan College where he also lived for many years until illness took him to Kensington for increased medical care. Br Merrick’s approach to life is summed up in an extract from his autobiography: My theory is that ‘life is what you make it’ and many wonderful friends and neighbours help considerably. So ‘life is very much worth living’; what a great blessing a vocation in Religious life is to a person — so many graces, Mass and Holy Communion each day, and very many happy and grateful students, teachers and parents to share life with. One lad asked me what would I do if I had my life over again. I replied I would choose exactly the same.”
Chris Topp began as a teacher at Chevalier College in 1976. Over the next 40 years, he served in numerous roles from subject master to Deputy Principal before becoming the first past staff member to chair the College Board of Directors. When Chris succumbed to cancer in 2016, it was a huge blow to the thousands of people in the Chevalier and Southern Highlands community whose lives he had touched. From staff to students, he was widely loved and admired. Chris Topp’s Esprit du Chevalier Medal citation listed the following accomplishments: