Rhodes Scholar-Elect will solve issues of the future by studying the past

Oliver Douglas

Mr Oliver Douglas has been named as the University of Adelaide’s 114th Rhodes Scholar-Elect during an event at Government House this October. The prestigious scholarship will enable him to undertake further study at the University of Oxford. 

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj AC, said, “I congratulate Mr Douglas on this remarkable achievement and for continuing the proud tradition of University of Adelaide Rhodes Scholars.” 

“It is an immense credit to the quality of Mr Douglas’ academic career so far and I am certain his time as a Rhodes Scholar will be just as successful going forward. That this is the 114th Rhodes Scholar-Elect from the University is testament to our focus on both nurturing and challenging our students, while supporting them to achieve their academic dreams.” 

Mr Douglas is completing his fourth year of a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) majoring in history at the University of Adelaide. He has received the Lynda Tapp Prize and John F. Kennedy Memorial Scholarship, among other academic prizes.  

“At Oxford, I intend to undertake a Master of Studies in History,” said Mr Douglas. 

“I will focus on the strand of ‘Modern British History since 1850’ so I can examine the functioning of British democracy when it faced serious challenges during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.” 

Following the Master of Studies, Mr Douglas plans to explore British democracy and its challenges in greater depth through a doctorate in the Faculty of History.  

“Through my studies and later career, perhaps as an academic or public servant, I intend to strive to contribute to strengthening democratic institutions wherever and as best I can,” he said. 

“I believe democracy must be reinvigorated if my generation hopes to solve the climate crisis, egregious wealth inequality, security challenges, and other important issues.” 

Throughout his study, Mr Douglas has served on the Adelaide University Sport and Fitness Board, the Adelaide University Union (now YouX) Board as Student Representative Council Welfare Officer, as the South Australian Association of University College Clubs (SAAUCC) President representing all college students, and in a range of other capacities.  

Mr Douglas was also honoured to commission as a Lieutenant in the Australian Army Reserve in 2022, and to continue his enthusiastic involvement with tennis, in which he was the 2019 recipient of an award for the best South Australian 18 and under male tennis player.  

He will continue to focus on the big ideas of civic life, philosophy, and, most of all, history.  

The Rhodes Scholarship is a fully funded, full-time, postgraduate award which enables talented young people from around the world to study at the University of Oxford. Established in 1903, it is the oldest international graduate scholarship programme, awarded on the basis of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service. The Rhodes Scholarship supports students who demonstrate strong propensity to emerge as 'leaders for the world’s future'. 

To learn more about the Rhodes Scholarship visit: https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/scholarships/the-rhodes-scholarship/ 

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