Australian Rhodes Scholars at Rhodes House

Welcome to the information page about the Rhodes Scholarships for Australia. 

Each year, there are nine Scholarships available in Australia to enable outstanding students - chosen on the basis of exceptional intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service - to study at the University of Oxford. You can view a Storify message about selection here and about preparing for interview here.

The first Australian Rhodes Scholars took up residence in Oxford in 1904, and since that time many hundreds of Australians have been awarded this prestigious scholarship.  They have pursued a variety of careers in public service, academia, business, law, and medicine, amongst others.  Many have achieved notable distinction, including:

  • Current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
  • Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott
  • Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke
  • Former Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen (click here for tributes on his death in December 2011)
  • Former Leader of the Opposition Kim Beazley (now Australian Ambassador to the US)
  • Nobel Prize winners Sir John Eccles and Lord (Howard) Florey
  • Pioneer in evidence-based medicine Anna Donald
  • Justices Hayne and Heydon of the High Court of Australia, and
  • Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Information about Rhodes Scholars elected for Australia and around the world can be found in biographies of the Rhodes class of 2014 and the Rhodes class of 2013.


Applications for the Rhodes Scholarships for 2017 are now closed.

Of the nine scholarships available each year in Australia, each state offers one Scholarship that is awarded by a selection committee of seven members (including three Rhodes Scholars) based in the state.  In addition, there are three Australia-at-Large Scholarships awarded by a selection committee based in Canberra.  This selection committee will consider applicants from the ACT and other territories of the Commonwealth, as well as those candidates nominated by state selection committees. Please note that applicants cannot apply directly to Australia-at-Large.

Prospective applicants from Australia should carefully review:
1. the general information about the Rhodes Scholarships,
2. the selection criteria that apply in all Rhodes constituencies, and then
3. the application criteria specific to Australia (Please note: an authorisation code is no longer needed)

Guidance for Referees for applications for 2017 is available here.

There are FAQs applicable to all applicants and Australia-specific FAQs. We also have a Storify information page on preparing for interview.

Once they have reviewed the information above and determined if you are eligible, potential candidates must contact their State or Territory Honorary Secretary to discuss their eligibility to apply, and for general information on the preparation of applications and the selection of referees.

Referee Reports
Philipp Aigner (Germany & Corpus Christi 2010) and Joshua Makepeace (South Australia & Lincoln 2010) with the Vice Chancellor of the University of OxfordCandidates need to contact their referees to confirm that they are able to submit their reference by the due date, and then enter and save their referees' contact details into the on-line Application Form. An email will be automatically sent to each referee with instructions on how to submit the reference on-line. The system will then attach the referee reports to the candidate's application when received. As we have now moved to an electronic system, we no longer expect to receive hard copy references (although it is still possible in special cases). Please note that it is up to each candidate to check with the Secretary that all their reports have been received. Please click on the link for a copy of notes giving Guidance to Referees.

Oxford University
Candidates intending to apply for a research degree are strongly advised to contact the relevant department at Oxford. The Selection Committee will expect to see evidence that the planned project is of interest to and can be supported by that department.

National Secretary for Australia:

Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic
Australian National University
Building 10, The Chancelry
Acton, ACT 0200

Telephone: +61 2 6125 4873
Fax: +61 2 6125 5955

Deputy National Secretaries for Australia

Professor John Watson
Associate Dean and Head of School, Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School

Professor Merlin Crossley
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education
University of New  South Wales

Administrator and Contact: Central Scholarships
Division of Student Administration
The Australian National University

To view contact information for the Secretaries in each Australian state, please visit the Australian Secretaries page.