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$75m donation to expand research innovation across Australia

A major philanthropic donation announced in Canberra today will include a $65m contribution to expand the work of the Forrest Research Foundation, a partnership between all five Western Australian universities, and a further $10m to encourage participation by all Australian universities.

The $400 million donation by Andrew and Nicola Forrest was announced in the presence of the Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, at Parliament House.

In attendance at today’s event were two of the current 14 Forrest Scholars, Dulce Vargas Landin and Marisa Duong, and the Vice Chancellor of the University of Western Australia, Professor Dawn Freshwater.

“Investing in something you can’t entirely see but know to be true and vital takes courage. It takes a belief in people, including great faith in the brilliant Australian and international minds who will find solutions, right here in Western Australia, to global challenges. With this gift, the Forrests are helping to secure our future,” Professor Freshwater said.

The contribution announced today will expand the existing $65 million commitment made by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2013 to $130 million. The contribution will be used to expand the Forrest Research Foundation nationally and will allow the number of PhD Scholars and Post-Graduate Research fellows to be doubled from 30 to 62.

“Every application round we have turn to away students with unique and exciting research ideas. This additional contribution will enable the Forrest Research Foundation to expand its mission to retain and attract the world’s brightest minds to Australia,” said Grant Donaldson, Chair of the Selection Committee.

Since establishment, 14 Forrest Scholars representing 10 nations have been awarded with research underway across Epigenetics, Biodiversity, Muscular Dystrophy, Water Filtration, Geo-technical Science, Biomedical Science, Archaeology, Rock Art and Conservation. Recruitment is also underway for the inaugural Post-Graduate Research Fellow in 2017.

“The Forrest Research Foundation represents an important opportunity for the five universities of Western Australia to focus on their research strengths and present a united position on innovation and research. We are delighted to be hosting three of the current Forrest Scholars at Curtin,” said Professor Deborah Terry, Vice Chancellor of Curtin University.

“The Forrest Scholars – bright, curious and determined individuals – represent an exciting future for research in Western Australia,” said Professor Paul Johnson, Warden of the Forrest Research Foundation.

More information on current application rounds can be found at www.forrestresearch.org.au

For further information: Tania Hudson | thudson@minderoo.com.au | +61 439 247 227