Available to applicants enrolled in Year 3 of the Agriculture Program or Year 2 of the Agribusiness Program.

Closing date 25th March 2019
Interview date 3rd April 2018
Supported by

Bill Ruse Memorial


Bill Ruse was born in Sydney in 1929 and attended Barker College 1938-46.

Following a two year cadetship with WD & HO Wills, Bill embarked on a career in agriculture, instilling within him a love for the land that remained throughout his lifetime. His first few years were spent as a Jackaroo and Overseer on properties in North Western New South Wales, including Haddon Rig, Bangate and Midkin at Moree.

In 1954, Bill accepted a position in South East South Australia’s 90 Mile Desert, offered by Mr J F Litchfield, Cooma. His task was to develop 90,000 acres of mallee scrub, sandhills and swamp – with no existing improvements – into a viable agricultural operation. ‘Didicoolum’, by the time Bill left in 1970 (by then reduced to 25,000 acres) ran 30,000 sheep, 2,000 Angus cattle and had become a highly regarded and successful operation.

Over ninety jackaroos and overseers had worked under Bill during this time, and he became well regarded for his management skills and enthusiasm for training young men and women on the land.

In 1971, Bill joined the newly formed Agricultural Investments Australia Limited, initially as General Manager, and later a s Managing Director in the company’s Sydney offices. During his 25 years with AIA, Bill continued to oversee investment in, and management of, rural properties throughout Eastern Australia, developing many associations within the agricultural arena in Australia, Europe and the USA.

Following his retirement from AIA, Bill continued to work as an Agricultural Consultant until his death in 1999.

Bill Ruse was highly regarded for his skills in agricultural management and for his personal characteristics of integrity, decency and a commitment to fairness and social justice.

The Bill Ruse Memorial Scholarship has been established in recognition of his commitment to the development and training of young people for careers in agriculture. Bill, through his leadership, his skill in dealing with people, and his vast knowledge of agriculture, became widely respected as an agricultural manager.


The importance of farm management to the economic development of Australia.