University of Melbourne Magazine

Generosity funds journey of a lifetime for students

  • The wonderful generosity and foresight of Alma Hands (formerly Hansen) has enabled dozens of young scholars to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Mrs Hands studied Arts at the University, where she won several scholarships and prizes including the Shakespeare Scholarship in 1911. In 1914, with the award of a government research scholarship in literature to inquire into the sources of some Shakespearean plays, and an Orient Steamship Company Scholarship for her study on Shakespeare’s London, she travelled to Oxford, where she gained her MA in 1917. In 1965 Mrs Hands bequeathed her estate to the University of Melbourne, expressing her desire that funds be used to support travel scholarships for graduate students.

    Georgina Walker was the most recent beneficiary of Mrs Hands’ generosity, which enabled her to conduct extensive research on archival material and cultural collections in London, New York and Los Angeles, as well as seven cities in Germany and three in Switzerland. Georgina’s thesis investigates the rise of private museums in the past two decades and the impact on public museums. Georgina argues that it is crucial for us to “critically examine the changing role of philanthropy in the twenty-first century”, and will present her findings in her PhD due to be completed in 2015. “This scholarship has shown me how I can make a clear contribution to the Arts, the University and the broader community,” she said.

    For more information on Faculty of Arts scholarships, including the Faculty of Arts 100 Scholarship that supports access and equity, visit

    Georgina Walker.

    Georgina Walker.