Home' Air Force News : December 8th 2011 Contents 21
December 8, 2011
CMDR Steve Dunning
FLGOFF Chris Lowe has become the
first Australian military officer serving
in Afghanistan to be awarded an elite
scholarship to study overseas.
The General Sir John Monash
Scholarship is a private non-Defence
related scholarship awarded to recipi-
ents who demonstrate academic
excellence, outstanding leadership
and service to Australia. For 2012,
of an initial 200 applicants, only 10
scholarships were awarded.
FLGOFF Lowe said the selection
process was quite rigorous.
"Despite my past academic
achievements and successes I wasn't
confident that I would be one of the
finalists, given the prestigious nature
of the award," he said.
"After the final interview, I was
a bit worried because I didn't feel I
had done as well as I could have. I
was notified by telephone two days
after the interview that I had been
successful. I was shocked at first, then
FLGOFF Lowe acknowledged that
while it was a great achievement, he
still had a job to do on the ground in
First for young
"It was fantastic news but this was
tempered with the fact that I have a
job to do and I had to get straight back
into work -- the operation certainly
hasn't stopped because I have been
given a scholarship. The scholarship
will allow me to further my studies
and fits perfectly with my career goals
in the Air Force," he said.
"Combined with my practi-
cal experience gained working with
the Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft
(RPA) detachment, this will hopefully
allow me to make a significant con-
tribution to the capability of the next
generation of RPAs."
The scholarship is the achievement
of a goal he has held since graduating
from ADFA when he asked himself,
"I wanted to pursue postgraduate
studies overseas following my first
posting from ADFA. Professionally,
it means adding an outstanding quali-
fication to my experience as an engi-
neer, and is a significant next step in
my career," he said.
The next phase for FLGOFF
Lowe will be completing a two-year
Masters of Engineering degree at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
in Boston, one of the premier techni-
cal universities in the world.
"My focus will be on automation
and control of UAVs -- particularly
relevant as these platforms play an
increasingly prominent and important
role in aviation."
After seven years' service in the
Air Force, FLGOFF Lowe has already
completed a Bachelor of Engineering
(Electrical) in the CDF student pro-
gram and graduated from ADFA with
first class honours and the University
Medal in 2008. Currently employed
as a Force Communications Unit node
commander, he is responsible for
communication information systems
support to all Australian elements at
and around Kandahar.
"I've been driven since I was a
teenager to achieve but also make a
difference; I believe my studies will
enable me to achieve my personal and
professional goals," he said.
"Something that has stuck with me
since I was 15 is a question asked of
me by a teacher at school. Seeing that
I was driven to high achievement, he
asked me what I wanted to achieve
in life. I said that I didn't know, but I
wanted to do something that made a
"This is still true -- I want to be
doing something that makes a real dif-
ference to Australia."
ELITE HONOUR: FLGOFF Chris Lowe at Force Communications Unit, Camp Baker, in Kandahar, who has
been awarded the General Sir John Monash Scholarship.
Photo: WO2 Kristy McNaught
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