Bashir receives Technion doctorate

Professor Dame Marie Bashir with Moriah College students (from left) Leila Freedman, Jaime Levine and Hannah Whitmont. Photo: Giselle Haber

WATCHING Technion Australia’s patron, Professor Dame Marie Bashir, being presented with an honorary doctorate on May 14 provided extra inspiration for an unprecedented five Australian students selected to attend Technion’s prestigious SciTech International Summer Camp in Haifa in July.

The Technion Israel Institute of Technology honoured the former NSW governor for her significant contribution to psychiatry and mental health, intercultural understanding, and her longstanding support for Israel and the Technion.

After the presentation at the Sydney Jewish Museum, Dr Ruth Ratner launched the Technion Australia Marie Bashir Scholarship Fund, in her presence.

The fund provides opportunities for Australian students to undertake courses or exchange programs at Technion, particularly those from Indigenous or disadvantaged backgrounds – causes close to Bashir’s heart.

Then it was time for the five high schoolers to shine. Moriah College’s Hannah Whitmont was named the winner of the Technion Australia 2017 SciTech Scholarship. She will be joined at the SciTech Summer Camp by fellow Moriah students Matthew Blau, Leila Freedman, Jaime Levine and Masada College’s Olivia Chen.

“It was wonderful to see the students’ excitement about this very special opportunity to travel to Israel and work with Technion academics on valuable research projects, and they particularly loved meeting Professor Bashir,” Dr Ratner said.

Only 60 students worldwide made the cut to attend the two-week camp.

The reception concluded with the announcement by special guest Noa Bentor – Technion International School’s social activities coordinator – of a new Technion Gap Year Program that specifically caters to Australian students.

The program offers a blend of academic studies in science and engineering, leadership workshops, Hebrew classes, volunteering opportunities and unforgettable cultural and sightseeing tours. Unique to the program are visits to some of Israel’s leading high-tech laboratories and start-ups.

For inquiries about SciTech, Technion Australia’s scholarship program and new gap year program, email [email protected] 

SHANE DESIATNIK