National recognition for UNE alumnus’ philanthropic work

Published 22 November 2016

University of New England alumnus and humanitarian, Max Schroder, has been recognised for his philanthropic work in higher education with a prestigious Business/Higher Education Round Table (B/HERT) award.

Mr. Schroder won the award for Outstanding Philanthropic Support for Higher Education and says it is an honour to be recognised for his work that helps others get an education.

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“I came from very modest beginnings, but was lucky to have a mother who, although denied higher educational opportunities by a father who declared that ‘education was wasted on women’, was a self-taught intellectual who inspired me to learn,” Mr Schroder said.

“I completed my BA hons and MA hons at UNE over thirteen years of part-time study. Those qualifications provided a platform for my career in Education as a Lecturer and an Administrator, culminating in forming my own higher educational institution in a network with others. The success of that college network, now the listed company NAVITAS Ltd, provided the funds to enable me to assist others from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain the opportunities which I enjoyed.”

In 2008 Mr Schroder sponsored one Indigenous scholarship. Today, he is making a difference in the lives of 32 students in education, nursing, medicine and law and his involvement with UNE extends beyond just financial support.

Mr. Schroder’s generosity continues to evolve and now encompass a variety of academic, residential and sporting scholarships. In 2014, he introduced Indigenous mentoring scholarships to support students in their studies while also improving the retention rates of undergraduate students.

Vice-Chancellor Annabelle Duncan said that Mr Schroder’s personal support and understanding of the factors facing Indigenous students pursuing further education, has benefitted not just his scholarship recipients, but also their families and communities.

“We are extremely pleased that our long-standing relationship with Max, and the positive impact he has had on so many students, have culminated in him being nominated and winning such a significant award,” Prof. Duncan said.

“It is a wonderful endorsement of our alumni’s ongoing contribution and involvement, above and beyond routine activities, with UNE and we are honoured to have it recognised.”

The B/HERT Award for Philanthropic Support of Higher Education recognises support for higher education and draws attention to the extent of this support. The award focuses on the key role philanthropic support plays in enabling important and innovative programs and in leveraging further support.