The University of Newcastle, Australia

Support for Engineers Comes from the Heart

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Seventy years after beginning a career in heavy industry, John Turner has a deep appreciation of the importance of STEM education.

Matthew McCrae, John Turner and Blake Anderson

As a former manager of six major production departments at the Newcastle Steelworks, and through his own studies in metallurgy, engineering and economics, John has witnessed many advancements in the fields of technology and engineering.

“Technology improvements have been very important in improving the living standards of humanity,” said the 87-year-old retired business owner. “We need to support those who hold the keys to where we go next.”

Education as a family legacy

In 2009, John established the John Turner Scholarship to provide assistance to willing, industrious students from a Toronto area Public High School who otherwise may not be able to undertake tertiary education.

In 2015, this scholarship was renamed the John and Patricia Turner Scholarship to honour the memory of his wife Patricia. Patricia was a loving and caring wife, mother and grandmother who was an inspiration to all of those who were blessed with having her in their lives.

Every year the John and Patricia Turner Scholarships support four students studying STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). John hopes that by proving some scholarship money he may help relieve some financial stress faced by students and their families; and give others the opportunity to share in some  of his own good fortune.

“Both my parents set a tough, excellent example by working hard for their community. Both were life members of Red Cross. My father was a life member of a Surf Life Saving Club. Neither had much education but my mother insisted that I did.” said John.

“If you’ve been lucky in life it is very satisfying to share some of that luck by helping others.” - John Turner

Ask how you could set up a scholarship to support students

Contact Leanne Innes, Development Coordinator, Scholarships and Prizes, on +61 2 4921 5394 or

Read more in The Gift newsletter

Related news