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New Scholarship from Melbourne Timber Legends Provans

Old Black and White photo of D.Proven and Sons, with employees in a posing in a group out the front of the building
Provan and Sons

Melbourne timber industry stalwarts announce new scholarship program to support talent pipeline of the trade

The families behind Melbourne institution, Provans Timber and Hardware, have announced the donation of an annual award and scholarships to give back to the city’s trade industry which has long supported them.

Coinciding with the COVID-19 recovery economy, the business has partnered with Melbourne Polytechnic to provide three individual scholarships with a value of nearly $6000.The first award and scholarships will be granted in 2021, highlighting the importance of trades to Melbourne and encouraging prospective students to undertake courses such as carpentry, joinery and cabinet making at the TAFE.

The Provan family initiated the idea in memory of their family ancestor, David Provan, a founding member of the Committee of the Collingwood Technical School, now known as Melbourne Polytechnic. After recognising the need for a technical school to train young people in the trades required in the timber and building industries, David was involved from its beginnings in 1912, and continued to be involved until his death in 1931. The students of the Collingwood Technical School formed a guard of honour outside the school for his funeral cortege.

Applications for 2021 scholarships are open now, with annual award applications set to open in 2021. Up to three scholarships and an award will be available to a select criteria of current and prospective students on an annual basis:

  1. The Provan and Rosenberg Families, Provans Timber and Hardware, Annual Scholarships (for Carpentry, Joinery and/or Cabinet Making). Up to three scholarships, each amounting to $1,815 per year to cover tuition
  2. David Provan & Sons Annual Award for Carpentry, Joinery and Cabinet Making – $500 cash, plus $500 voucher for tools of the trade.

David Provan, great grandson of the founder David Provan, is proud of the legacy his family has built. He commented: “My great-grandfather was a hard-working family man with strong values and an absolute commitment to his staff and the local community. An example of his concern for his workers was shown when he taught himself sign language in order to be able to employ and communicate with his deaf workers.”

Provans Timber & Hardware is now owned by the Rosenberg family. Barry Rosenberg, commented: “We are so thrilled to be able to help give Carpentry, Joinery, Shopfitting, Stairbuilding students at Melbourne Polytechnic some support – especially those who may have been affected after such a tough year.”

Expressing her gratitude, Chief Executive at Melbourne Polytechnic, Frances Coppolillo added: “We would like to sincerely thank the Provan family for their generous contribution to our institute. David Provan’s passion for education and training in the area of trades and involvement with the establishment of Collingwood tech is truly inspiring.”

“We look forward to sharing the historic and current day relationship with our wider community next year.”

The David Provan awards and scholarships will commence in 2021. For more information please visit:




Notes to Editors

For further information, including background on the Provan family, media enquiries or interview requests, please contact Melbourne Polytechnic Media on 1300 635 276

About Melbourne Polytechnic

Melbourne Polytechnic offers a different way to learn. It has been delivering vocational training since 1912 and is one of the largest providers in Victoria. With courses that focus on practical skills and hands-on experience, students graduate with the knowledge they need to thrive in their careers. Teachers are passionate and established in their professions and are there to guide students in theirs.

About David Provan

David, born 1866 and died 1931, was a carpenter, joiner and founder of two timber merchant businesses in the early 1900s – Mulready, Provan & Clarke in and David Provan & Sons in. Based in Clifton Hill, his business became a family trade with his three sons Bob, Ed and Albert all working under the same roof. Following in their footsteps were his grandsons Jack, David and Greg, who each completed their apprenticeships at Provans Timber and Hardware.