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Merv Short OAM, ED Prize for STEM


History of the prize

The Rotary Club of Port of Townsville proudly remembers Past President and District Governor, Mervyn Albert Short with this memorial prize. Merv passed away peacefully at 90 years young on 3rd September 2020 and is widely remembered for his friendly smile, sense of humour and ability to engage with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Merv was admitted to the Rotary Club of Port of Townsville on 1st December 1975 and quickly grasped the essence of Rotary’s motto of “Service above Self”.  Holding many and varied positions within the Club during his 45-year association. Merv was a strong supporter of young community leaders.  He demonstrated this through his involvement with Rotaract, the global organisation that empowers students and young professionals to create positive and lasting change in themselves, their local community and around the world.

Merv grew up in Townsville where he and his brother opened a small general store opposite the original Townsville Hospital in North Ward.  The store flourished and went on to become a highly successful early ‘mini-mart’. Throughout his working life Merv was an enthusiastic supporter of the local community, including as a instrumental part of the establishment of the Cowboys Rugby League franchise.

For his service to Rotary and on the North Queensland Defence Reserves Support Committee, Merv was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1987, and in 2003 he was further recognised with a Chief of Defence Force Commendation for long and energetic service on that committee.

Merv’s devotion to the ideals of Rotary and their application to the broader North Queensland community remained with him for life.  His colourful, supportive and friendly personality, together with keen encouragement and mentorship are profoundly missed by the community.

Mervyn Albert Short OAM, ED is survived by his wonderfully supportive wife Wendy, their daughter Megan and her children.


Rotary Club of Port of Townsville

Prize Information

Awarded to the student from the College of Science and Engineering who is enrolled full-time and has obtained the highest GPA in their first year of study.


2023 - Harry Gallagher-Smith & Reece James Kelly

2022 - Jakson James Gardnir

2021 - Ayla Santandrea Gunawan