Tom Crowhurst shares details of the ‘worst over in college cricket history’, the advantages of mentoring and making decisions based on what’s truly important to you.
The culture shock of moving to Perth from Bahrain at age 10 was certainly real for Tom Crowhurst, but it was that early start to life that set the foundations for his academic focus. Here he reflects on his college experience and what Trinity brought to his life.
‘Moving to Australia, it felt like we were almost doing more sport than we were learning maths and English’, Tom remembers. ‘It was a bit of an adjustment. It was good because I had played a lot of cricket [in Bahrain], but I was academically focused…that was a priority.’ Attending Shenton College in Perth helped nurture Tom’s academic mindset and he received near perfect marks in Year 12 and was dux of the school.
Despite his academic achievements, attending the University of Melbourne felt like an unachievable dream for Tom, who was keen to study engineering at Australia’s top university. And it wasn’t until he met former Dean of Trinity’s Residential College, Campbell Bairstow, who was speaking to Year 12 students at Shenton, that Trinity was even on the radar. The sales pitch obviously worked, as Tom credits Campbell as ‘part of the reason why I wanted to come…he made it sound fantastic.’ And with the Chancellor’s Scholarship locked in at Melbourne University, Tom was on his way to Melbourne.
A rocky start searching for a supermarket on Lygon Street and ending up an hour later in Southbank didn’t deter Tom, and his experience at Trinity far exceeded all expectations. ‘Very quickly it became pretty clear that the most valuable part of being there [at Trinity] was the people that I met and the relationships that I made. These people are my best friends still today.’
Tom found that Trinity suited him, getting involved in pretty much every sport and activity that was on offer. Playing in the first XI cricket team was a highlight and one game is very clearly etched into his memory. ‘I think I bowled the worst over in college cricket history in the 2012 final against Ormond. It was really bad. I must have bowled more than twice the number of balls you're supposed to, because most of them were wide.’
Despite the lacklustre performance, Tom was put back in for the last over of the second innings, where he kept our old foe to very few runs and tied the game. A game that Trinity went on to win. In addition to cricket, Tom also played football (first XVIII), rowing and squash. He was a member of the debating team, founder and president of the racquets society, part of the dialect society committee and a student coordinator. Academics during the day, sports training afterwards, games on the weekend with crowds of Trinitarians cheering you on was ‘a really fantastic time…some of my best memories’.
In 2014 Tom was awarded the Order of Australia Association Prize, a scholarship awarded by the University of Melbourne to outstanding students touted as the next generation of leaders. It was during this process that Tom recognised the value of mentoring, as he met many extraordinary leaders in their fields who he still calls on today for guidance. It also inspired Tom to provide advice to other young people who are thinking about their career, attending university and college – this is something that he is hugely passionate about.
For Tom, who now works for one of the world’s leading investment banking companies the greatest advice he can provide young people thinking about their future is that goals are achievable. He does point out that it is important to work out what is important to you, what’s going to satisfy you, get you excited and to make sure you’re open to opportunities that come your way. Being out of his comfort zone, by leaving Perth and coming to Melbourne, is something that Tom believes helped his growth and forged a path for future success.