30,000th donor supports FHS Abroad program

2 August 2013

Dr Dale Larsen's donation will support the Faculty of Health Sciences Abroad program, which helps students work on development initiatives in Nepal, Cambodia, India and Vietnam.

A personal knowledge of the University of Sydney as a student and teacher, and a desire to see students gain overseas experience, motivated Dr Dale Larsen to become our 30,000th donor.

Her contribution is a new milestone in the University's INSPIRED fundraising campaign, aimed at raising $600 million from more than 40,000 donors.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying and teaching at the University of Sydney and I want to give back because of my great experiences," said Dr Larsen, a former lecturer and alumna with a Bachelor of Applied Science,Master of Health Science and PhD from the University. Dr Larsen now works in Sydney as a physiotherapist and independent physiotherapy consultant.

"I was inspired to make a commitment to the Faculty of Health SciencesAbroad program as I think it is important that students have the opportunity to study and work overseas to widen their horizons. The program also provides students with a wonderful opportunity to learn in countries which may not be as fortunate as their own," she said.

Working in Nepal, Cambodia, India or Vietnam the students in the program, which started in 2011, live with local communities and participate in development initiatives. Placements have included the Military Handicap Development Centre in Siem Reap, for ex-military injured during their wartime service, the Xa Dan School in Hanoi, for hearing impaired children, and the Nutritional Rehabilitation Home in Kathmandu, for undernourished children.

Based on their chosen discipline, students provide skills such as physiotherapy, health promotion classes, speech therapy, clinical assessments or nutritional advice.

"Dr Larsen joins a donor community, aged from 17 to 110, who share our ideals and goals. By supporting our talented students and teachers, our outstanding research, our facilities and by creating more opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participation, our donors enhance our position as a leading international university, showcasing the best Australia has to offer on the world's stage," said Tim Dolan, director of development at the University.

"The support of 30,000 donors is an investment by the community in the future of Australian education and innovation. It is an endorsement of the University's focus on meaningfully engaging with our donor base. Five years ago, the University of Sydney was averaging $30 million a year in gifts. Today that annual total is more than $80 million."