2011 President’s report, Stephen Wood

Our purpose is to enable at least one talented candidate each year to study the Cranfield School of Management MBA and to promote and support Cranfield and the Scholarship brand throughout Australia. We seek talented Australians who are passionate about Australia and have a desire to contribute to its future. We expect the winners to “pay forward” the opportunity they have gained by helping and encouraging others to follow in their footsteps.

The Cranfield MBA consistently ranks highly on all of the major independent league tables such as The Economist Intelligence Unit, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes Magazine. This helps considerably in attracting talented applicants. Other key elements in our promotion of the Scholarship include a “viral” email campaign and concerted efforts by Board members to build relationships with organizations with aims complementary to our own. By December 2011 we had 233 registrations of interest in the Scholarship from potential candidates. However, the rate of conversion from registration to application is low—due to life-stage and personal reasons. Hence our continuing need to market our Scholarship to the widest possible audience.

Since incorporating in 2008, Foundation membership numbers have grown and we now have 55 members. We continue to encourage all in the broader Australian alumni community to become members and invite you to contact us if you would like to join.

Anna Baggoley was presented with the Fifth Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship, 2011. She is the first winner from South Australia, the third female and the first with a hospital and health care background.

Todd Myers was our Fourth Scholar, 2010 and has now returned to Queensland to a new role with BHP Billiton. We are very proud of Todd’s achievements in winning the prestigious Henry Ford II Scholar Prize. It is awarded to the student achieving the highest marks in the year, and is particularly praiseworthy since Todd and his wife were caring for their new young baby during the year.

Damini Arora (née Singh) our Third Scholar, 2009 married a fellow MBA student in August 2011 — the Cranfield Experience working again — and is now working in the UK.

Robert Milagre, the Second Scholar, 2008 returned to Australia and has since joined the CAASF board as NSW State Representative.

Sarah Nicholson, our First Scholar, 2007, is still in London and progressing up the ranks with BHP Billiton in the Iron Ore Business.

David Corkindale, South Australian Board Member won the President’s Award, 2010 for his magnificent efforts in generating so much interest with state government and business organizations in South Australia. His efforts resulted in both excellent registrants and a winner from his state.

Our efforts to achieve tax deductable status (DGR) for donations are on-going and we continue to communicate with the appropriate tax authorities and other supportive parties to argue our case. We have enlisted support from Senator Nick Xenophon who has written to Treasury on our behalf. Tax deductibility for donations is essential for CAASF to reach out to a larger base of contributors.

Meanwhile, we have instigated a micro-donation programme that seeks smaller amounts paid each month by EFT to complement the larger donations. For the equivalent weekly cost of few cups of coffee, you can support the scholarship. We now have a growing number of people who have chosen to help in this manner. If you would like to contribute in this way please contact us.

Once again, 2011 has been a year of steady progress and consolidation for us. We have received further recognition and support from Cranfield for our Scholarship efforts. From this year, candidates have been able to sit the Cranfield Admissions Test in Sydney, instead of the GMAT test. This will be a boon to Australians and should make the application process easier.

We remain passionate about our mission of creating the pre-eminent scholarship opportunity for leadership and management development for talented Australians and promoting the Cranfield MBA.

Stephen Wood (EMBA 1994) President, Cranfield Australian Alumni Scholarship Foundation