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 American-Australian Veterans' Scholarship Fund Scholars


USA to Australia

John O'Hara

AAA Veteran Scholar

Study Focus: International Business           Military Rank: Petty Officer Second Class

Petty Officer O’Hara is a 6-year Veteran of the United States Navy. He is currently studying a Bachelor of International Business, minoring in banking and professional accounting at Murdoch University. Petty Officer O’Hara has one year of study left in Australia and upon graduating, he hopes to secure an internship in the US and build a career in politics, specifically foreign affairs.

Kevin Lenahan

AAA Veteran Scholar

Study Focus: Master of Business Administration                     Military Rank: Captain

Captain Lenahan is an 8-year Veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

He attends the University of Sydney as a member of the university’s first full-time Master of Business Administration (Leadership and Enterprise) cohort.  By learning from his peers and professors’ methods, tactics and techniques, Captain Lenahan hopes to further his philanthropic and entrepreneurial endeavors.  While enrolled, he co-founded an NGO out of South Sudan.  Upon graduation, his 1 priority is to continue to put others first—taught by his parents, Tom and Theresa Lenahan—a value which was annealed through his honorable service in the U.S. Marines.  Whilst in the Marines, Captain Lenahan shot, flied, and supplied: serving as a prior-enlisted officer on active and reserve duty.  He earned his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from Ohio University.  During his free time, Captain Lenahan can be spotted enjoying beautiful Australian beaches and wildlife.

Thomas Hrdlicka

AAA Veteran Scholar

Study Focus: Masters of Environment                       Military Rank: Private First Class

Private Hrdlicka is a 4-year Veteran of the United States Army. He is interested in studying environmental sustainability and intends to undertake a Masters of Environment at the University of Melbourne, commencing in 2020. Upon earning his degree in Australia, Private Hrdlicka would like to work with IGOs/NGOs to affect positive change in environmental policies and technologies, improving and sustaining the overall quality of the urban, rural, and natural environments on the continent. Private Hrdlicka is a member of the Cherokee Seminole tribe.


Australia to USA

James Coltheart 

AAA - Lendlease Scholar

Study Focus: Master of Public Policy                                           Military Rank: Major

Major Coltheart is currently studying a Master of Public Policy at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. As someone who served for 13 years in the military, including at war, Major Coltheart intends to use his study to build his conceptual understanding of conflict and increase his knowledge of functional and regional security issues. His goal is to pursue a career in international security policy where he will use the skills gained to influence international security policy and ensure that the nation’s ‘blood and treasure' are used wisely, for example as a Policy Advisor within the United Nations Peacekeeping Group or Department of Political Affairs, before returning to Australia. His current research interests include the rules-based global order, the utility of force as an instrument of policy and contemporary conflict.


Nerita Lewis

Study Focus: Master of Business Administration      Military Rank: Flight Lieutenant

Flt Lt. Lewis plans to undertake a Master of Business Administration, at one of the top ten ranked business schools in the US, to support her successful transition from the military. Her goal upon graduation is to return to Australia and work in the Non-Governmental sector, providing support to the Asia-Pacific region. She plans to tailor her degree to the NGO field via elective options, for example: growing social enterprises, strategic innovation, ICT, data mining for business intelligence, competitive strategy and project management. In 2012 Flt Lt. Lewis was the youngest and most junior ranked military member selected to undertake the UN Military Observer Course, training with military personnel from 27 countries.


Callum Newton
AAA - Greg Norman Scholar

Study Focus: Master of Business Administration                Military Rank: Lieutenant

Lt. Newton’s long-term goal is to bridge his 13-year military career experience with business acumen to help grow the Australian defense industry so that Australia may continue to flourish. He sees a symbiotic relationship between the strength and vibrancy of a nation’s economy, and its ability to flourish as a peaceful society, which is the reason he was drawn to study a Master of Business Administration. As part of the MBA program, Lt. Newton will undertake study exchange at either Stern Business School, NYC, or Booth School of Business, Chicago. A key attribute of the American psyche which he is interested in learning more about is the entrepreneurial spirit, as this facilitates the innovation which implementation of the Australian defense industry capability plan calls for.


Samuel Eastwood

Study Focus: Master of Business Administration                    Military Rank: Corporal

Corporal Eastwood plans to study a Master of Business Administration at an American university in order to continue his professional and personal development following his transition from soldier to civilian. His goal is to utilize the knowledge and benefits provided by an MBA to develop a strong foundation in international business, from which he can pursue an international business career that will allow him to build on the strengths he has gained from his eight years of service as a soldier, coupled with four years as an Embassy staff member.



Australia to USA 


Courtney Ames 
AAA - Greg Norman Scholar

Study Focus: Nuclear Engineering                                          Military Rank: Captain

Ms. Courtney Ames served for 12 years in the Australian Army as an officer in the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, which included postings in Brisbane, Canberra and Darwin, and two operational tours in Afghanistan. During her Army career, she also completed a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physics and Politics. She is currently pursuing a Master of Nuclear Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, with a focus on nuclear security and radiation detection systems.   


Ben Luther 
AAA - Lendlease Scholar

Study Focus: Complex safety systems                    Military Rank: Squadron Leader

Mr.  Ben Luther served for 22 years in the Royal Australian Air Force and now intends to pursue an Advanced Certificate in Executive Management of Innovation and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to enhance safety for high-risk situations.


Michael Addis 

Study Focus: Nursing                                                                   Military Rank: Private

Michael Addis served for 4 years in the Australian Defence Force.  He is currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing at the Australian Catholic University and will undertake a semester of study in the United States emphasizing geriatric nursing for elderly veterans.

Christopher Wilson 
AAA - Sentinels of Freedom Scholar

Study Focus: Medicine – PTSD                                   Military Rank: Flight Lieutenant 

Christopher Wilson served for 4 years in the Royal Australian Air Force.  He now intends to study medicine focusing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and understand US approaches to managing and improving health for veterans in both countries. 
Nathan Johnson 
GSJMF - AAA Commemorative Defense Scholar

Study Focus: Electronic and Cyber Warfare                               Military Rank: Major

Nathan Johnson is a 17-year veteran of the Australian Army. Nathan is currently undertaking a PhD looking at the nexus between Electronic and Cyber warfare in at Arizona State University. 


USA to Australia 


Emily Leonard 
AAA - GSJMF Commemorative Defense Scholar

Study Focus: Public Policy – Healthcare                         Military Rank: Petty Officer 

Emily Leonard served for 6 years in the U.S. Navy.  She now intends to pursue a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Management at the University of Melbourne.  Her graduate study will focus on studying the Australian healthcare system as a possible model for improving quality and efficiency of US healthcare. 

Marcos Rocha Jr.  

Study Focus: Criminal Justice                                                  Military Rank: Sergeant

Marcos Rocha Jr. served on active duty in the United States Marine Corps for 5 ½ years.  He now intends to pursue a Master’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of New South Wales to identify approaches to reduce recidivism in the criminal justice system. 

Sam Greenwood

Study Focus: Business Analytics                                     Military Rank: First Lieutenant

Sam Greenwood served in the United States Marine Corps for 3 years.  He now intends to pursue a Master’s degree in Business Analytics at the University of New South Wales. 


Shawn Skinner

Study Focus: Marine Biology & Ecology                                 Military Rank: Sergeant

Shawn Skinner served in the United States Marine Corps for 3 years.  He now intends to pursue a Master’s degree in Sustainability at James Cook University in Queensland with a focus on identifying approaches to improve health and resiliency on coral reefs. 

Jeramiah Wegner 
Sentinels of Freedom - AAA Scholar
Study Focus: International Development                    Military Rank: Staff Sergeant  

Jeramiah Wegner served in the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment for 7 years and had six combat deployments.  He is currently finishing a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Development at Columbia University. After completing his degree in Fall 2018, Jeramiah intends to pursue a Master's Degree in International Development in Australia. 
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