James Rapley Memorial Scholarship


To Honour James memory we initially  established a perpetual scholarship in his name at Whitley College Melbourne for a Rural Student studying either Engineering or Science at Melbourne University.

Whitley has now been sold so the Scholarship has been transferred to the Melbourne University Scholarships Board to administer. 

It will continue to be available to assist with the residential costs of a Rural Student studying either Engineering or Science at Melbourne University, but now will be for residence at either of the five smallest Residential Colleges


Our Family initially provided approx. $270,000 and, together with fundraising by Groupon, the Melbourne University Basketball Club and friends and investments by the Melbourne University Scholarships Board,  that sum grew to approximately $320,000, but we would like this amount to rise so that annual award can be of even more assistance, Any donation you could make would be most gratefully received


Donations to the Scholarship at Melbourne University may be made directly to the Scholarships Board by clicking on the link below


All donations remain Tax deductible in Australia




James was someone very special in the lives of many people.


He was tragically taken from us in Los Angeles on Sunday, 22 December 2013 when he was riding a bicycle, in a well defined cycle lane, and was struck by a 19 year old intoxicated (drugs) driver at approximately 9.00 AM, and killed.


He had flown from his home in Chicago a day before his flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne to make sure nothing could delay his return to see family and friends for Christmas.


With time on his hands he went for a bicycle ride on one of  the established cycle paths in Los Angeles when he was struck. Bicycle riding, as well as many other physical activities were one of his many passions


As a parent we all  strive to provide a  nurturing environment for our children.  One which will helps them to find what they want to do in their adult life, and then to foster and encourage them to do the best they can to achieve that. We all, also, try to keep our children as safe as possible without stifling them.


In James case he needed little encouragement as he was very focused and very hard-working, at both his school work and sport. The hard part was actually trying to keep up with him.


As our children moved into young adulthood our role as parents diminish, as they make their own way in the world, but we will always be there to help with any advice, guidance and assistance they seek.


The impact is indescribable and, really, beyond the comprehension of anyone who hasn't been through it.


Your first thought is to reach out and protect your child, but of course you can't. He's gone.


Over the course of a couple of days though, my wife and I thought that what we could try to do was to ensure his memory continued and, given that he had such a tremendous social conscience and was frequently donating of, not only his money, but his time, towards, a number of charitable undertakings we thought that the establishment of a perpetual Scholarship to help rural students, who would be studying either an  Engineering or Science Degree, to meet part of their living costs at Whitley College would be the most appropriate first step.

James Campbell RAPLEY


1984 - 2013


We then discussed it with our younger children, Julia and David, and also with James girlfriend Karen, who all agreed it was the most appropriate course of action


Transitioning from high school to University, whilst at the same time moving from a rural environment to the city, is a mammoth step in itself without, at the same time, having to find part-time employment to pay for living expenses.


To properly honour James, his family has decided to set up a scholarship for students from a Rural background, studying Engineering or Science Degrees, to offset some of their first year accommodation fees at Whitley College, a college affiliated with Melbourne University.


We have committed a considerable amount, but need your help to raise sufficient funds to make it  truely worthwhile and memorable