In July 2010, I spent a few days in the library of Rhodes House, Oxford, going through a collection of manuscripts relating to the early Moreton Bay settlement. It was a great place to work, light and airy, but with polished wooden furniture that glowed with a sense of the timeless traditions of Oxford – but with free wifi too.
The Rhodes Trust takes a keen interest in the achievements of its alumni. Walking up the stairs to the library in mid-2010, I was startled to encounter a large photograph of Tony Abbott (New South Wales, 1981), who had a few weeks earlier replaced Malcolm Turnbull (New South Wales, 1978) as Opposition Leader. In terms of global reach, perhaps Bill Clinton (Arkansas, 1968) was Cecil Rhodes’ greatest coup, but others include a President of Pakistan and Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, Jamaica and Malta.