Name:                         Philip Merryweather

Graduating Year:       1982 and 1983

Degree:                       Bachelor of Commerce/Law

UNSW Volunteer:       Director of the UK Foundation Board of UNSW


What inspired you to study the degree you chose?

I had grown an interest in High School in business, economics and legal systems, and felt that the combination of a business and law degree would provide me with flexibility in future career choices.

What led you to your current position and chosen career path?

My career choices reflect my diverse global legal, financial and business experience and willingness, appetite and ability to take risk.

What has led you to reside in the United Kingdom?

My grandparents were “£10 Poms”, so I am entitled to an Ancestry Visa to live and work here. Additionally the UK and neighbouring Europe provide deep markets and investment opportunities for me to explore.

What are your fondest memories from your time studying at UNSW?

The interest all our lecturers and tutors took in all education and overall well-being, and meeting a diverse range of fellow students that my background would not have ordinarily afforded me.

If you could have given your ‘uni self’ some advice what would it have been?

Probably to have engaged campus life more fully and have more fun, as I was very focussed on just being the best I could be academically and any spare time I had I spent working at night stacking shelves at a local supermarket. But no regrets.

Why did you decide to join the UK Foundation Board?

I received a free first class globally competitive university education under the Whitlam Government, which no doubt was and remains the building block to the success I have had. The quality of the curriculum and teaching at UNSW Sydney is superb, and it provides you both confidence and a way of creative thinking that is not only unique, but it really does set you up to achieve anything you direct your mind to achieving. I believe free education is the silver bullet to any nation, it only fails because of the lack of a good “CFO” usually. A better educated population leads to less poverty, less drain on public social and health services and a greater overall GDP. To me this is just self-evident and so I have no choice given the free education I received but to step up, pay back and pay forward. I had already been providing scholarship support to students at the University and overseas, but when I discovered recently that the Australian government had reduced funding support to UNSW from 80% to 40%, I decided I needed to do more, hence I have joined the UK Foundation Board.


Click here for more information about the UK Foundation Board.