Hendrikus Berkers has been connected to RMIT for most of his life. Now he’s continuing that connection as a mentor and donor.
After graduating from the RMIT Cabinet Making Apprenticeship program over 40 years ago, Hendrikus Berkers has remained an important member of the University community. Hendrikus is an accomplished furniture maker, a gifted educator and now Director of Environmental Blinds, a supplier of energy efficient interior and exterior blind solutions.
In his 33 years at RMIT, he taught Vocational Education and Higher Education students across the university, specialising in furniture construction and manufacturing, before rising to become Head of the Department of Furniture Technology, Head of the Department of Built Environment and later Head of the School of Design TAFE.
He completed a Master of Architecture in 2002 and was also instrumental in establishing the Advanced Certificate of Furniture Production and the Diploma of Furniture Technology and Design, the first of their kind offered in Australia.
“For me, RMIT is a very special place. My connection started when I was just 16 with the apprenticeship in cabinet making and I have retained a relationship with RMIT ever since. Half of my life at RMIT revolved around teaching and the other half was around various leadership roles. In 2010, I left as the Head of the Design TAFE school at RMIT to pursue my own projects,” said Hendrikus.
Hendrikus remains connected to RMIT as an active member of the Alumni community and a donor. Passionate about supporting the next generation, Hendrikus mentors young students, sharing his industry experience and insights, and providing career guidance.
“I enjoyed being a student here. I think it is an amazing place to study, very dynamic, quite edgy and very well connected with industry, which I think makes a point of difference from other providers in Australia and indeed overseas.”
I decided to leave a bequest to RMIT to set up a travelling scholarship because I think it’s very important for a young person to have the opportunity to travel.
As a donor, Hendrikus has supported the University with regular contributions, donated to the RMIT Capitol Theatre Appeal and has made provision to establish a travelling scholarship in his Will. "The Philanthropy team was absolutely amazing in the way they managed and helped me through that process, it was incredible. So, it’s actually not that hard to do, it’s just a case of wanting to do it. I feel very passionate about RMIT and this is a way of me giving something back to the University.”
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer