Philanthropy snapshot 2022 & 2023

29 November 2023
Year in review
These snapshots are a few examples of recent philanthropy, which have created opportunities to learn, research, and innovate across the University. From community fundraisers to bequests, every donation is a step towards a brighter future for all.

1. First Nations students thriving

A new scholarship means there is no cap on potential for aspiring dentists. Thanks to the Gregg Foundation, more Indigenous students can pursue dentistry, particularly postgraduates intending to work in regional and remote areas. Encouraging an uptick in First Nations students will also have an important impact on the communities who will receive care from Indigenous medical professionals.

2. A teacher's gift to music

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music welcomed celebrated musician Professor Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO (BMusEd ’86) as the inaugural Elizabeth Todd Chair of Vocal Studies in 2023. Formerly Head of Vocal Studies, Elizabeth Todd OAM continues her legacy with this bequest. Deborah’s standing as a renowned Indigenous composer, soprano and educator will make her an invaluable guide for students.

3. Gift of a lifetime

A bursary for undergraduate students will flourish thanks to a bequest from its namesake, Lady Foley (BA ’46, DipSoc ’47, MA ’85), who passed away in 2022. The Jean D Foley Bursary was established in 1983, honouring her pioneering contribution during her 14 years on staff. Jean used her expertise in the then-new field of computing to transform student records from paper to data in the 1960s. Her bequest will provide a lifeline to students in need.

4. Research as remedy

Tour de Cure is committed to a cancer-free world, collaborating on numerous cancer research initiatives at the University to turn this vision into a reality. Tour de Cure’s most recent donation is a grant for Professor Lenka Munoz, who is investigating glioblastoma – the most common and fatal type of brain cancer. This disease currently has no effective therapy, but Tour de Cure’s gift brings us closer to improved outcomes and novel treatments.

5. Net zero to hero

Marcus Sonoma Catsaras has committed $120,000 through his organisation,, to support a Research Assistant under Professor Deanna D’Alessandro, Director of the Net Zero Initiative. This position will explore Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, which extracts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. CO2 captured through DAC can be reworked to produce products including beverages, building materials and aviation fuels, dramatically reducing carbon emissions.

6. Sheep study stipend

The McCaughey Memorial Institute (MMI) will provide a boost to biosecurity and livestock research with a new PhD scholarship in the School of Veterinary Science. The McCaugheys’ support for the University began with a bequest after the death of Sir Samuel McCaughey in 1919 and continued with the formation of the MMI in 1945. Its latest gift will investigate ovine footrot, a disease which can cause lameness in sheep, affecting animal welfare and placing an economic burden on farmers.

7. Follow your art

A new scholarship will uplift final-year visual arts students in perpetuity thanks to the Liu Shiming Art Foundation. The Foundation has gifted more than US$100,000 to students at the Sydney College of the Arts as part of a unique initiative to seed 100 scholarships in institutions around the world. This donation means that talented young creatives in decades to come will receive a critical lifeline on their journey to careers as practising artists.

8. 'Tis the season for giving

In a coup for citizen science, volunteers sighted all 35 Christmas beetle species across the summer of 2022-23, making 6592 submissions in total. In collaboration with Invertebrates Australia, key finds include four ‘missing’ beetles, that had not been formally sighted in several decades. Programs like the Christmas Beetle Count provide comprehensive data from across Australia and raise awareness of important issues, like biodiversity.

Help us explore endless possibilities and make countless lives better. Find out more about donating.

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