The late Sir James David Wolfensohn was “a really nice Australian” who performed a big function in supporting Australian Public Service leaders, based on commonwealth ombudsman Michael Manthorpe.
The previous World Financial institution president passed away this week in Manhattan, aged 86.
A philanthropist, Wolfensohn had supported the Australian public sector for various years via his sponsorship of the Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship.
The scholarship was established in 2012 by the Harvard Membership of Australia as a method of enabling senior public servants from federal, state and territory governments to attend the Harvard Kennedy College in america.
Various previous recipients proceed to serve in senior APS roles, together with Division of Overseas Affairs and Commerce secretary Frances Adamson, Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy, Nationwide Incapacity Insurance coverage Company CEO Martin Hoffman, and Australian Border Power commissioner Michael Outram.
Manthorpe was a 2015 recipient, and spent a month at Harvard the next yr.
“It was an exceptionally useful expertise which I’m certain made me a greater public servant,” he informed The Mandarin.
“Senior management roles are rewarding but in addition demanding. Generally you simply sit up for going to the seaside. The Wolfensohn Scholarship gave me a brand new lease on my skilled existence. It gave me perception that, even in your fifties, the perfect years should still lie forward.”
Manthorpe recalled how he had penned Wolfensohn a thank-you letter following his time at Harvard.
“He wrote again, within the kind of hand-writing model you affiliate with these of a era or two in the past, expressing pleasure that it had been a great expertise and suggesting we ‘catch up for lunch subsequent time he’s in Sydney’,” he mentioned.
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“Though that by no means occurred in individual, final yr the Harvard Membership placed on a lunch in Sydney that various scholarship recipients attended and he beamed in on-line from his house in Manhattan. Although aged, his thoughts was as sharp as a tack.”
Of Wolfensohn’s help of the scholarship, Manthorpe mentioned:
“I don’t suppose anybody has ever directed such beneficiant help to such a trigger.”