Sir Zelman Cowen Fellowship Fund launched

Burnet Institute

07 August, 2012

Sir Zelman Cowen's son, Ben Cowen remembers his father as an extraordinary man.

Melbourne’s Burnet Institute officially launched the Sir Zelman Cowen Fellowship Fund at the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce in front of more than 800 guests including The Hon Ted Baillieu MP, Premier of Victoria.

The Fund named in honour of the late Sir Zelman Cowen, former Governor-General of Australia and Patron of the Burnet Institute will provide support to Australian researchers with a focus on improving women’s and children’s health, especially in resource-poor settings.

In officially launching the Fund, Mr Ben Cowen, youngest son of Sir Zelman remembered his father as an extraordinary man, who made an enormous contribution to national institutions – universities, media and the office of Governor-General.

“For us, Zelman was both good and great, in that order. He loved people and loved to help them. To propel people to fulfill their potential. Goodwill, generosity and decency coursed through him,” he said.

The Sir Zelman Cowen Fellowship Fund will provide research fellowships for bright young Australian scientists to address many of the significant issues facing women and children and to especially reduce the numbers dying during or shortly after childbirth.

“In Papua New Guinea a woman has more than 100 times the chance of dying during childbirth than in Australia and we need to address this terrible statistic,” Mr Cowen said.

“Zelman was, and his family remains, honoured by the Burnet, because this fund enables the privileged to do the right thing by the disadvantaged and the Burnet Institute has the capacity to be able to make a difference,” he said.

In summing up his official presentation, Mr Cowen said that if you have been touched by Zelman or his work, and want to remember him or his contribution in a really meaningful way, support the Sir Zelman Cowen Fellowship Fund.

For more information about the Sir Zelman Cowen Fellowship Fund or to make a donation go to or call the Burnet Institute on (03) 9282 2111.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Paul Rathbone

Executive General Manager, Public Affairs & External Relations




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