Clark Davis Ivins.

Clark Davis Ivins.

Student prize honours fallen soldier

16 April 2015

A prize aimed at first-year security studies students at The Australian National University has been established in commemoration of an Australian soldier who died during World War II.

Private Clark Davis Ivins died of wounds received at the Battle of Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea in 1942. He was just 24-years-old.

The prize, based at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, has been set up by Clark Davis Ivins’ nephew, ANU staff member Mr David Akers, and his mother, Lorna, who was only nine when her brother shipped out to war.

“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,” said Mr Akers, General Manager of the ANU Colleges of Science.

“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.”  

In memory of the young soldier, the Clark Davis Ivins Memorial Prize for Security Studies will each year grant $400 to the first-year student that scores the highest average mark across courses completed in a Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Security or Bachelor of International Security Studies.

As well as paying a tribute to his uncle, the prize is aimed at inspiring first-year students to continue their studies.

“Our hope is to build this family endowment over the next few years to enable us to provide, in addition to the prize, an annual travel grant for ANU security studies students to undertake a study program in Japan,” said Mr Akers.

Director of the Bell School, Professor Michael Wesley, welcomed the contribution made by Mr Akers and his mother.

“The Bell School and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre are delighted to announce the Clark Davis Ivins Prize, because it honours the service of a young Australian and highlights how international and strategic relations affects ordinary Australians,” said Professor Wesley.

“The prize will make all the difference to our students in the future, inspiring them to strive for excellence in their studies in defence and strategy.”

The prizewas launched today at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

In its inaugural year, it was presented by the Akers family to Bachelor of International Security Studies student Mr Nicholas Campton-Smith. 

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