UNSW community celebrates fundraising milestone for 2023

27 Nov 2023
UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Attila Brungs visiting a lab during at the announcement of the $2.6m Tyree Foundation gift. Photo by Maja Baska.

For the first year ever, we have collectively raised $100 million through philanthropy, supported by just over 4000 donors, including alumni.

Working together, we are raising more funds than ever before for University priorities, and affecting change from a local level through to initiatives that have a broader societal impact. The donations are the culmination of tremendous work, strategy and perseverance from the Development team in partnership with faculty and staff across UNSW.

“What excites us most about crossing the $100 million milestone, which is a significant achievement, is the transformational impact that this meaningful philanthropy will enable,” said Chief Development Officer Lindsay Robinson.

“Results like this come not only from a successful fundraising team, but also from a university that embraces a culture of philanthropy. It’s a culture that values our community of staff, volunteers, alumni and donors by providing great experiences, showing appreciation and celebrating the role they play in achieving the University’s purpose and goals.”  

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Attila Brungs said, “I am delighted about the growth of philanthropy at UNSW and deeply thankful to our generous supporters. Working closely with our supporters, we are able to realise our shared passion for enriching lives, propelling research and making a positive impact in our community. Thank you.”

Donations are making an impact

Our donors help us make a difference that transforms the world. Whether in support of scholarships or research, world-class education and student experience, the cumulative impact of gifts – large and small – ensures UNSW’s work can have the greatest impact.

We have received a range of donations throughout the year to support initiatives across the University. Here are just a few examples:

  • $2.5 million from the Ian Potter Foundation to establish the Centre for Future Health Systems to promote sustainable, equitable and person-centred health care for people across Australia and to support the role of Centre Director, Professor Michael Kidd.
  • $1.7 million from an anonymous donor to our world-renowned Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) to support dementia research. 
  • $2.6 million from The Sir William Tyree Foundation to provide scholarships and leadership support to women from disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing engineering. 
  • More than 1250 donors donated over $10 million to support the Uluru Dialogues education campaign, including community Dialogue/events, talks and activations around the country.
  • A grant from the Paul Ramsay Foundation to the School of Education will support the Culturally Nourishing Schooling project and investigate ways to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. 
  • Philanthropic support for the Business School will help scale up the Playconomics program, an experiential learning platform that challenges students and improves their understanding of economic concepts and financial literacy. 

Supporting students

Philanthropy continues to play a pivotal role in enhancing the student experience at UNSW, including supporting students through scholarships. In the past year more than 700 donor-funded scholarships have been awarded to students to support their studies and nearly $6 million has been raised to further UNSW’s goal of increasing access and success for domestic undergraduate students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds and educationally disadvantaged schools. 

Watch this video of Kelsie’s story. Growing up in Broken Hill, she dreamed of going to university in Sydney, but as a carer for her mum and younger sister and living on a small disability pension, this seemed out of reach. An Equity Scholarship from UNSW helped lift some of the financial pressures and opened the door to a bright and promising future.


Workplace Giving at UNSW

In the past 11 months, UNSW staff have collectively donated close to $600,000 to support many worthy programs and initiatives across the University through the UNSW Workplace Giving Program. This includes Indigenous projects, student scholarships, ground-breaking research, and more.

This program gives staff the opportunity to make a pre-tax donation through payroll every fortnight. With a commitment from the University to match every staff donation made towards UNSW causes, dollar for dollar, there is an opportunity to double the impact of your gift.

Find out more or sign up to Workplace Giving.


Main image caption: UNSW Engineering Dean Professor Stephen Foster, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education & Student Experience) Professor Sarah Maddison, Chair of the Tyree Foundation Board Robyn Fennell, UNSW Vice-Chancellor and President Attila Brungs and student Joanne Zreika at the announcement of the $2.6m Tyree Foundation gift. Photo by Maja Baska.