Recent major donations
In recent years the University of Sydney has received a number of transformational gifts, which are supporting our development of innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
John Grill Centre powered by philanthropy
In October 2012, University of Sydney alumnus John Grill made a $20 million donation to the University. His generous donation has made it possible to establish the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership.
John Grill's generosity underlines the increasingly critical role played by alumni and other supporters in helping Australia's higher eduction sector to maintain and enhance its global competitiveness.
Since graduating from the University, John Grill's leadership of international resources and energy company WorleyParsons, where he has worked on many of the world's largest mining and infrastructure projects, has given him the insight and drive to support the establishment of this international centre of excellence in project leadership.
This gift reflects his belief that the University is uniquely placed to provide high-level executive education and thought leadership for multi-billion dollar projects.
Tackling obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease: $19.8 million anonymous donation
In 2010 an anonymous donor gave the University a 1935 portrait by Picasso of his lover, Marie-Therese Walter, titled Jeune fille endormie. The gift came with two conditions: that the donor remain anonymous, and that the painting be sold and the proceeds spent on scientific research. The painting was auctioned In June 2011 at Christie’s in London, and part of the $19.8 million proceeds are being used to fund chairs at our Charles Perkins Centre.
Led by Professor Steve Simpson (pictured), the centre is pursuing innovative new solutions to one of the 21st century's biggest global health challenges: obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Funding the next generation of science: $5 million donation from John Hooke
In September 2011 John Hooke CBE, former chairman and CEO of Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA), donated $5 million to establish a new academic chair at the School of Physics and the Australian Institute of Nanoscience.
Nanoscience has the potential to deliver more energy-efficient communications and advances in medical imaging and treatment of diseases through nano-devices based on quantum physics and photonics.
The institute will be a world-leading research and teaching facility for the study of quantum science, photonics, biomedical science and material systems at atomic level.
Boosting agricultural sustainability: $8.6 million bequest from Nancy Roma Paech
Nancy Roma Paech was the daughter of a farming family from Leeson Station in Winton in outback Queensland who was interested in methods of crop production without the use of pesticides. She died in 1987, and it was only after her husband Donald Paech died in 2009 that the University became aware of her bequest of $8.6 million.
The Faculty of Agriculture and Environment is using the gift to support research into low-impact broad acre agriculture for sustainable land management in Australia.
Advancing research into liveable cities: $5 million donation from Warren Halloran
Henry Halloran was a surveyor, valuer, engineer and town planner as well as a flamboyant and dynamic real estate developer who promoted and created new settlements throughout coastal NSW in the first half of the 20th century. To honour Henry’s passion for town planning, his son Warren Halloran donated $5 million in April 2012 to establish the Henry Halloran Trust.
The trust will bring together scholars, students and practitioners from around the world for interdisciplinary and collaborative projects to address the most important challenges facing land management and urban development in Australia and overseas. This gift has helped position the University as a leading voice and advocate for the advancement of liveable cities, thriving urban communities and sustainable development.