Each year, the University of Melbourne celebrates the many donors and alumni who enable our students and researchers to reach new heights, make ground-breaking discoveries and contribute to our global community.
View messages of thanks from our University leaders
Professor Duncan Maskell, Vice-Chancellor
Your support enables transformation
This report is being compiled just as our campuses are being reinvigorated with the return of many thousands of students eager to begin the new academic year. This is all the more heartening after the difficult few years experienced by many since 2020.
Just as I welcome today’s new and returning students, with their energy and optimism, so I am extremely grateful for the continuing commitment and the great dedication of our generous community of supporters.
Last year, over 2700 donors contributed funds and nearly 3000 alumni engaged with their alma mater to volunteer and provide mentorship to our students.
As this report illustrates, these generous gifts have provided essential support for our students and made scholarships possible across all study disciplines, allowing more students to focus on success in their studies and future careers, irrespective of their financial circumstances. I hope you will enjoy reading some of their stories.
The University is one of the world’s great research institutions, and this year our research ambitions have been greatly enhanced by the establishment of the Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics. Created with an extraordinary $250 million donation from international businessman and philanthropist, Mr Geoff Cumming, the Centre will aim to provide greater resilience for societies around the world in dealing with future pandemics. This is the largest philanthropic donation to Australian medical research and one of the largest gifts in Australia’s history.
As always, this report is a welcome opportunity for me to say thank you to all of you who contribute in vital ways to our endeavours as a University. It is also a succinct way to highlight some of the great things your generosity is making possible.
My warm thanks to everyone in our donor and alumni community.
Nick Blinco, Vice-President (Advancement)
Your generosity is far-reaching
On behalf of the University of Melbourne, I would like to say thank you for your continued support. Your ongoing generosity has allowed the University to make an extraordinary impact on the world.
It has been truly remarkable to see what can be achieved when we connect you – our visionary donors, alumni and supporters – with our changemaking students and researchers. Thank you for committing to us, engaging with us, and for trusting us.
Together we achieved so much in 2022. You gave $347.9 million in philanthropic support to all areas of the University community. From investing in scholarships that seed opportunity and grow potential in our future leaders to investing in research that creates a healthier future for our population and planet, every one of the 2706 of you have given to projects which you are passionate about.
You all share a commitment to make a difference to the world around us and a belief in the University of Melbourne as the place where that can best be done. Your dedication and loyalty has had a profound impact on our students, our research, and on the landscape of our society. You have shown us the impact that an engaged, aware, and committed donor and alumni community can have.
It has not just been the generosity of your gifts that has made an impact. You have contributed your time and knowledge as well. Nearly 3000 of you volunteered your time for the University, sharing your expertise and mentoring the next generation.
However, there is still so much to be done and there is still so much to be excited about. We are developing several initiatives that tackle some of humanity’s biggest challenges. With your help, we can arrest climate change, develop sustainable energy sources, and prevent the extinction of species. With your support, we can build Indigenous opportunity and unleash the power of Indigenous knowledge. And through your generosity, we can work towards a future with a safe and rapid response to infectious diseases and harness the power of higher education to transform opportunity. Let’s continue to work together to build a better world.
Stories of impact
Building global resilience: The motivation behind Australia’s largest medical gift
Mr Geoff Cumming’s gift established the new Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics. Here, he shares his motivations for giving to medical research and improving humanity.
Empowering future Indigenous leaders
I-LEAP is providing crucial support to Indigenous students. For Nick Harvey-Doyle, it means being able to help bring Indigenous perspectives to mainstream media.
Bringing back to life an enigmatic marsupial
A generous gift from the Wilson Family Trust helped establish the TIGRR Lab, supercharging research in the field of marsupial conservation and the de-extinction of the thylacine.
Opening the doors for future generations
Thanks to the generous support of our donor community, Melbourne Access Scholarships are enabling students who experience disadvantaged circumstances to embrace all that the University of Melbourne has to offer.
Wattle Fellows: Growing leaders in sustainability
To create a sustainable future, we must foster a multi-disciplinary approach. That’s why the Wattle Fellowship is building global leadership in sustainability.
A microbiologist’s legacy: Safeguarding antibiotics to protect children
A gift from the late Dr Graham, alum and former senior lecturer at the University, is funding research that will improve the health of children globally.
Setting up students to thrive in their career
Bachelor of Commerce alum Belinda Tran describes how the First in the Family Scholarship, made possible by generous donors, helped her through her first year of studies.
Donor generosity supports Tyallah to blaze a trail
The Paul and Donna Dainty VCA Award supported Yorta Yorta and Chinese woman Tyallah to transition from the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) to professional acting.
Uplifting young alumni through mentoring
Ginny's career and volunteering amplifies young voices, and the Ask Alumni program is helping her empower more young people than ever before.
Enabling greater Indigenous representation in law
A Melbourne Law School Indigenous Student Scholarship helped Maggie immerse herself in her law studies, leading to an opportunity in the School’s Indigenous Law and Justice Hub.
Celebrating Baillieu Myer’s legacy of giving
For decades, the remarkable generosity of the late Baillieu Myer AC as a donor to Asialink, dementia research and vital veterinarian services has had a transformational impact.
Supporting a career change to teaching
The Wei Family Education Scholarship is enabling Dionne to transition from a career in strategic communications to teaching where she can help students reach their full potential.
Building up the next generation: Continuing a family legacy
Dr Richard Simmie is grateful for his family’s perseverance in seeking a better life for future generations. Today, he finds pride and joy in honouring their spirit through giving.
Thank you for your generosity
2022 in review
Total number of gifts: 3337
Total number of donors: 2706
Donors who are also alumni: 66%
Total given through gifts in Wills: $20.7M
Total alumni engaged: 17,004
Event participation: 13,525
Alumni mentors: 2103
Number of mentees connected with: More than 2700
How you have made a difference
Thanks to you, we have been able to progress a wide range of initiatives that benefit our students, researchers and the wider community.
Research and Discovery: $288.7M
Gifts that drive innovation and tackle humanity’s biggest questions through the creation of academic positions, research programs and institutes.
Multi-purpose gifts and unrestricted funds: $18.4M
Donations used to support the University’s highest priorities, and those with broad-reaching impact across disciplines.
Student support: $13.1M
Developing the leaders of tomorrow, through scholarships, awards, financial aid grants, and projects supporting Indigenous student education.
Learning spaces and campus development: $6.1M
Funding for the creation of first-class educational environments where students and researchers can excel.
Community engagement: $4.1M
Support for initiatives that enrich our cultural and social life, such as museums and collections and public lecture programs.
Note: These figures include gifts to University funds in 2022 and do not include gifts to affiliated colleges and institutions.