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Tokyo via Boston

Volume 7 Number 2 February 14 - March 13 2011

Joel Tito has been awarded a National Scholarship by the Boston Consulting Group. Zoe Nikakis reports.

Each year, the scholarship is awarded to one Australian student in their penultimate year of study. 

Nominated students are in the top five per cent of their classes, show leadership in their extra-curricular activities, work well in team environments and connect and relate with a wide range of people in diverse environments.

Mr Tito is completing a combined Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts with a concurrent Diploma of Modern Languages (DML) in Japanese.

“I chose to undertake a DML because I wanted to continue studying Japanese while also completing a double major in the BA component of my combined degree,” he says.

“The DML presented the best opportunity to do this while pursuing my interest in political science and philosophy in my Bachelor of Arts.”

Mr Tito is on exchange at Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, where he is taking law and philosophy classes for credit towards his University degrees. He will return to Melbourne in April to complete his final year of study.

His interests outside University are as diverse as his areas of study. Mr Tito is a founding member of independent comedy company Vigilantelope, he plays classical guitar and umpires in the Essendon District Football League and the Northern Territory AFL.

He volunteered for the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency while umpiring in the Northern Territory, and has since spent time with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service and Victorian Legal Aid.

His comedy troupe, Vigilantelope, grew organically from a group with whom he performed University comedy revues. “We wanted to take the skills we’d learned in writing and performing sketch comedy and translate them into a larger show with a greater sense of narrative,” Mr Tito says.

They decided to put on a show at the 2009 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which was nominated for the festival’s Golden Gibbo Award.

Mr Tito says the scholarship funds would go towards paying off some of his HECS debt and funding various comedy projects.