Message from the Vice-Chancellor: $20 million gift received today

23 October 2012

I am delighted to share with you the news that at a reception this afternoon, the University has received the biggest single gift ever made by a living Australian to an Australian university.

The $20 million personal gift from our alumnus John Grill, the former chief executive of international resources and energy company WorleyParsons, will be used to establish the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership.

Project management and leadership skills are in short supply globally, and the centre will unite the strengths of the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies and the University of Sydney Business School. It will offer focused executive education, research and thought leadership to support the delivery of large-scale complex projects that will directly improve Australia's capacity to deliver innovative infrastructure development and economic growth.

Since graduating from the University of Sydney with degrees in science and engineering, Mr Grill's work 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 for project leadership.

Just as projects such as these transform nations, John Grill's generosity is testament to the power of philanthropy to transform our work as a University. His donation provides further external recognition of our excellence in teaching, learning and research, and confidence in our ability to make a difference to the communities we serve.

To find out more about the John Grill Centre for Project Leadership, visit You can also read a news story about today's announcement. 

Yours sincerely

Michael Spence