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Alison Harcourt Award

We are delighted to announce a new award program, the Alison Harcourt Award, to recognise students from Kooyong primary and secondary schools who have demonstrated outstanding community service or citizenship.

We are inviting the principals of all primary and secondary schools in the electorate to nominate two Year 6 and two Year 12 students, respectively, to receive the Award.
The award is designed to recognise the contribution of students who have gone above and beyond for other members of their community, whether that is within their school, a group they belong to, or in broader society.

The following are examples of characteristics or contributions that you may consider in nominating a student for this award:

  • Dedication and service to community
  • Looking out for their peers, and those who are experiencing adversity
  • Overcoming personal challenges to contribute to the school or broader society
  • Exhibiting innovative thinking and creative solutions to address a need or problem in the community for the greater good
  • Leading and working collaboratively on an initiative that champions social justice, diversity, or inclusion
  • Demonstrating compassion and goodwill by dedicating time, abilities, or means to further a cause or assist those in need

Principals are invited to nominate students via this form by Monday 16 October 2023.

We’ll invite nominees and their families - along with school representatives - to an awards ceremony on 23 November 2023.

About Alison Harcourt
Alison Harcourt (nee Doig) is a Kew local who was born on 24 November 1929 in Colac, Victoria and went to school at Colac West State School, Colac High School and Fintona Girls’ School. She enrolled to study a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, majoring in mathematics, then a Bachelor of Science, majoring in physics.

Ms Harcourt is perhaps best known for her work at the London School of Economics, where she developed integer linear programming, which is a basis of efficient computer processing. This discovery has had numerous practical and mathematical applications, including in logistics, telecommunications, ecology, and medicine. In the mid-1960s, Harcourt joined a team headed by the sociologist Ronald Henderson that ultimately developed the Henderson Poverty line, which represents the disposable income required to support the basic needs of a family of two adults and two dependent children.

Alison Harcourt's remarkable impact on our society went largely unnoticed for most of her life. As a woman in an almost exclusively male field, her groundbreaking work from the 1950s on was often overshadowed.  As well as her significant academic achievements, Alison is an incredible contributor to our local community. For over 30 years  she was a volunteer deliverer for the Kew (and later Boroondara) Meals-on Wheels service. She has also played an active role in many other community organisations, including the Melbourne Film Festival, the Kew Primary School Parents' Association, the Council of Adult Education, and Leo Baeck Centre for Progressive Judaism.