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Congratulations this year’s recipient- Greta Matthias!, who you see above with our President Dean Bartley. We love supporting the students at Modbury High School and this is our 35th year in presenting this award. This year is particularly special as Greta is the younger sister of our 2018 winner- Josephine.

See More information about the John Tilley Memorial Award HERE.

Dean Bartley with Greta


During our club meeting on 12th January, we were finally able to hear from Greta herself. It was a long awaited presentation, as COVID and scheduling conflicts prevented us to meeting her earlier. She is described as a real life “Superhero” who strives to take action to better the world and the people in it. Please read below a brief summary of her speech:

Good Evening Rotary members. Thank you so much for sponsoring the John Tilley Memorial Award!

(Origin Story) I was born in the United States. By the time I was 4, I had already lived in 3 houses. In Rockford Illinois I started school but by the time I was seven my family was getting ready to move across the Pacific Ocean to Queensland. My first year in Australia was terrible but upon reflection we remember this bible verse. Romans 3:5 We glory in our suffering because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character hope. And hope does not disappoint. I started high school in Queensland but then we moved down to South Australia where I started year 9 at Modbury High School. Last year I was in year 12 and I had a wonderful experience. I was involved in both school bands, the athletics program, Student Voice Council, STEM club and Peer Tutoring.

(Gratefulness) Through my years I’ve always had a fantastic support network from family and friends. But there are those mentors who just come in every now and then to add their help. Some of these mentors are my teachers. However, I recently received an award akin to a mentor’s helping hand. The Outstanding student award is worth so much more than the money. It tells me that I was good enough to warrant your attention and for that I’d like to thank you once again!

(In the Future) With your gift I’ll be starting a mechanical engineering degree in March. I hope to go into the biomedical field where I’d be designing medical tools such as surgical instruments, stints or even maintaining the hospital machines like X-rays or MRI machines.

Thank You.