Tommy Lawton Scholarship to Oxford University | Dr Harry Parker

Dr Harry Parker, the first ever recipient of the Tommy Lawton Scholarship to Oxford University.
Dr Harry Parker, the first ever recipient of the Tommy Lawton Scholarship to Oxford University.

Ahead of this Saturday’s Oxford vs Cambridge rugby match, RUPA celebrates the selection of Doctor Harry Parker and his achievement receiving the Tommy Lawton Scholarship to Oxford University studying a Masters of Applied Digital Health.

The Tommy Lawton Scholarship is part of an ambition by RUPA and the Rugby Foundation to develop well-rounded people from the competitive rugby community. RUPA is working with the Australian Rugby Foundation and Doctor Brett Robinson (Wallaby #732) to establish a scholarship pathway for current Men’s and Women’s elite rugby players looking to further their education at the prestigious Oxford University, while continuing to play rugby.

Dr Robinson founded the scholarship after his own life changing experience at Oxford with his wife Amelia, so that others could share in the same opportunity that was provided to him.

The scholarship is contingent on the player being accepted by Oxford University and then a scholarship application letter for consideration, addressed to the Tommy Lawton Oxford Scholarship, comprised of Dr Brett Robinson, Justin Harrison & James Holbeck. RUPA can help introduce potential applicants to the Oxford Rugby Club who can support applicants with the application process and in providing information about life at Oxford. 

Please see below for information on the background of the scholarship as well as Harry’s outstanding achievements:

Tommy Lawton Senior

Tommy Lawton Senior (1899 – 1978), Grandfather of Tommy Antony Lawton (Wallaby #639) and Robert Antony Lawton (Wallaby #668), enlisted into the imperial forces in 1918 and served as a gunner in France.

Upon returning from war, he read medicine at the University of Queensland whilst also representing QLD rugby against NSW. In 1920, he moved to study medicine at the University of Sydney before being selected as an Oxford University Rhodes Scholar to study Rural Economics.

Tommy won 3 Oxford Blues through representing the University in Rugby, Swimming and Athletics. In 1929, he helped re-establish Rugby Union in Queensland and captained the undefeated Australian team in a three-game series against New Zealand.  

The Tommy Lawton Scholarship to Oxford University recognises individuals who demonstrate similar characteristics of leadership, strong work-ethic, adaptability and life balance whilst displaying both academic excellence and the personal characteristics of the late Tommy Lawton.

Doctor Harry Parker

Dr Harry Parker is the first ever recipient of the Tommy Lawton Scholarship and possesses strong academic and personal qualities that resemble those of Tommy Lawton.

Throughout Harry’s high school journey, he captained the track and field team, represented the 1st XV rugby team, and was a member of the open-swimming, cross-country and athletics. Following this, he commenced a medical degree whilst also remaining an integral member of the University of Queensland Premier Grade Rugby Team, winning 2 premierships.

Harry also achieved outstanding academic achievements including gaining an OP 1 upon his graduation. Harry won multiple premierships with the University Colts team, culminating in the 2012 Queensland Rugby Premier Colt of the Year Award. Following this, he represented Australia at the Junior World Cup in France in 2013 where he received a University Half Blue.

In his application for the scholarship Harry wrote… “it is a great privilege to be considered for the first Tommy Lawton Senior, Oxford Scholarship and I’m incredible thankful for this opportunity.”

We wish Harry the very best wishes for the game and trust he enjoys the opportunity to share in an amazing rugby tradition.

For more information on the scholarship email