James Packer donates $7 million to the University of NSW to expand mental health research

UNSW Vice Chancellor Attila Brungs said the foundation will support joint research and help develop new treatments.

“Research changes people’s lives. We are delighted with James Packer’s generous donation, which will enable UNSW researchers to develop new treatments and interventions for people living with mental disorders. “Mental health is an urgent global challenge and this gift will help us make real progress in this area,” Brungs said.

Philanthropic giving to the university increased last year from $74.5 million in 2021.

Philanthropic donations to Australian universities have increased over the past decade. In 2019, another top institution, the University of Sydney, reached its goal of raising $1 billion after a major fundraiser spanning 10 years.

“Just 15 years ago, the amount of money raised through donations was a fraction of what we see today,” Gonski said.


Andrew Norton, professor of university policy at the Australian National University, said: “Overall philanthropy still represents a small percentage of the university’s overall income.”

“Donations are often used to fund grants or specific research projects, but they’re really the icing on the cake.”

Donations and bequests received at Australian universities in 2021 totaled US$489 million, or about 1.3 per cent of all university revenues.

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Justin Scaccy

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