Property developer presents $1m to science school

15 June 2004

A $1 million gift from property developer Mulpha Australia has given the Messel Endowment Capital Campaign a flying start.

The campaign, an initiative of the Science Foundation for Physics, was launched at the foundation's 50th anniversary dinner in March. It is seeking to raise $3.5 million for the Professor Harry Messel International Science School (ISS).

The gift is an initiative of Mr Lee Ming Tee, an engineering graduate of the University of Sydney who is now based in Hong Kong. Mr Lee met Professor Messel in the early 1960s and the pair struck up a friendship that has lasted for more than 40 years.

Mr Lee's son, Mr Lee Seng Huang, chairman of Mulpha Australia, said he was delighted to support the school and the vision of his father, and to develop an ongoing partnership with the ISS. He presented a cheque for $250,000, the first of four instalments, to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gavin Brown, at a ceremony in the School of Physics.

The gift will aid the foundation's biennial science school, a free educational program for Year 11 and 12 high school science students from Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the UK and the USA. The school, established in 1962, encourages students to pursue a career in science and related fields.

The next school will be held in July 2005. Further information is available from Dr Jennifer Nicholls, executive officer of the Science Foundation for Physics, on (02) 9351 3622, or email