Clark Davis Ivins

Clark Davis Ivins

At 24, many young people are entering the workforce as graduates in their field, starting their working lives and having the opportunity to make a difference.

At just 24, Private Clark Davis Ivins died of wounds received at the Battle of Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea in 1942. Not only did he fight bravely for his country in the Middle East and Papua New Guinea, but he also fought hard for his own life, passing away after seven long months battling a severe spinal injury.

His life may have been a short one, but the part he played in the Battle of Milne Bay, a battle that was the first Japanese defeat on land in the Pacific War, is one that certainly made a difference to the lives of many Australians, both young and old, today.

It wasn’t until a family trip to the Wall of Remembrance at the Australian War Memorial in 2014 that David Akers, General Manager of the ANU Colleges of Science, had the idea to create a memorial prize to remember his Uncle Clark.

“I wanted to capture a well-known part of our family history, not only for my mother to remember her brother and what he gave for his country, but to also encourage other families to give so that others might grow in knowledge,” David said. “In front of that Wall of Remembrance, I was struck by how my uncle, just an ordinary young man, a house painter, from the small country town of Yandina, Queensland, was caught up in world history events. It made me realise that just one individual can make a difference.”

The family established the Clark Davis Ivins Memorial Prize for Security Studies in 2015, a $500 award given each year to the first-year student who achieves the best results in international security studies through the Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs at ANU.

In this video Mr Akers discusses his uncle’s short life, and the importance of the Clark Davis Ivins prize.

To commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay in 2017, the Endowment was expanded to offer the Clark Davis Ivins Memorial Travel Grants, with $1,000 awards given each year to undergraduate students in the Coral Bell School’s Global Learning Program.

“The army was probably the only way my Uncle Clark would ever have travelled the world, but our lives today are framed by travel and, especially, the security of the areas in which we travel. We wanted our prize to inspire first year students in Security Studies to continue their studies in this area. And we wanted the Clark Davis Ivins Memorial Travel Grants program to encourage young Australians to explore and learn about our region and the security challenges we face today.”

Clark was the dearly loved son of May and Joe and the cherished and always remembered brother of Daisy, Edna, Rita, Thelma, June, Lorna and Brian.

Updated:  26 March 2023/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team