Celebrating 90 Ron Rosanove award recipients

In celebration of Ron Rosanove’s 95th birthday, the University marked this milestone with a special gift book from many of the 90 scholarship recipients supported by the Rosanove family’s generosity.

Ron (BSc 1949, MBBS 1953) and Elizabeth Rosanove and their two daughters are the family behind the Ron Rosanove Award. Since it was established in 2014, the award has supported 90 Melbourne Medical School students, 60 of whom have now graduated.

“Both Ron and I are passionate about the value of education. We are impressed by how accessible university study is now, compared to when we were students, but we recognise that there are many students who cannot afford to pay the costs involved,” says Elizabeth.

“We wanted to help people who are studying with their living expenses, because that can be very hard. There are still a lot of people who come from families who just cannot afford to pay those expenses and uni fees. If you’re worried about how you’re going to live, you can’t really study.”

Ron initially studied science at the University of Melbourne, majoring in botany. He then began a medical degree.

“I liked science and the thought of medicine, so I signed on from the beginning in a combined degree, which was unusual at the time. It was unusual to go to university at all. University was regarded as something a bit out of the ordinary,” says Ron.

“There was a broad gap between basic education and more advanced education. It was rare for people to finish high school in Australia. If you did want to go to university, you needed the support of your family, or a scholarship and I was fortunate to receive a Commonwealth Scholarship.”

Ron graduated from Melbourne Medical School in 1953 but he didn’t wait for the formal graduation ceremony. Instead, he boarded a ship to the US as he had an interview for a role as an intern at Ellis Hospital in New York.

Ron spent seven years in the US, including a three-year Fellowship in Dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. During this time, he met Elizabeth and they married and returned to Melbourne. Elizabeth, who graduated with a Master of Social Work at the University of Minnesota in 1960, began working at The Alfred. Ron established a career as a highly respected dermatologist.

The family has maintained a deep appreciation of the opportunities offered by a university education and the Ron Rosanove Award is presented to help future generations of medical professionals achieve their goals.

“Ron’s passion for education and his love of medicine as a career have been the motivation for him to establish the Ron Rosanove Award at the University to help medical students continue their studies and extracurricular interests – as he did – without excessive financial worries,” says Elizabeth.

“To know that our scholarships can help current and future students along their way is a wonderful thing. Providing for the Ron Rosanove Award has meant a great deal to Ron and he hopes it will continue to be presented to students for many years to come.”

Mark McOwan (MD 2020), 2019 Ron Rosanove Award recipient.
Mark is employed at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and will begin radiology training in 2023.


“The Ron Rosanove Award was instrumental in supporting my studies overseas. It would have proved impossible without Ron and Elizabeth’s support. This experience has undoubtedly made me a more well-rounded and patient-focused clinician.”

“I had the pleasure of sitting with Ron and Elizabeth at one of the University of Melbourne events. I fondly remember chatting to them about my impending trip to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Little did I know Rochester was Elizabeth’s hometown and Ron was trained at the Mayo Clinic. Needless to say, we spent the rest of the night discussing the hospital and surrounding areas. It was a lovely night and I have enjoyed staying in touch since that time.”