The University of Newcastle, Australia

Generosity launches countless careers in music

Thursday, 27 September 2018

We don’t know much about the heroine of this story – a little about her family and their love of music – but we do know that her generosity will change the lives of many talented musicians and performing artists whose careers will owe much to Mrs Betty Dobrianskyj.

A $300,000 bequest from Mrs Dobrianskyj will fund several new programs at Baraya Records, the University of Newcastle’s new record label which offers students a supportive platform to develop careers as professional musicians.

A joint initiative of The University of Newcastle’s School of Creative Industries and The Wollotuka Institute, Baraya Records helps students gain real world experience of the contemporary music industry through activities designed to hone their performance, recording, entrepreneurial and business skills.

“Baraya Records combines education with invaluable, real-world music industry exposure. This generous gift from Betty Dobrianskyj means we can extend our reach, create more music and make a real difference to the career trajectory of many talented emerging artists.” - Professor Paul Egglestone, Head of School of Creative Industries

A culture of respect

Baraya Records has a foundation of respect for Indigenous knowledge, traditions and contemporary cultural practices. Baraya means 'sing' and it comes from the Gathang language of the Worimi people. The partnership with The Wollotuka Institute ensures this means Indigenous artists will be supported as part of this program.

A legacy of new beginnings

The Dobrianskj Family

Betty Dobrianskyj emigrated to Australia from England after the Second World War with her husband, Stefan, and their young son, Bohdan. The family’s connection with the University began soon after when Stefan began working at the BHP Research labs in Shortland (now the Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources). Bodhan went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science (1973) and a Diploma in Education (1974).

Connected to music

A talented musician, Bohdan played guitar and wrote music, releasing an album, “Newcastle Song” with his band in 1974 before his early death in an accident, aged 34. Nurturing musicians through Baraya Records is a wonderful way to honour Bohdan and unleash new creative talent.

YBequest brochure open on tableour story, your legacy

Our new brochure is a guide to changing lives through a gift in your will. Read more heart-warming stories of people making a real impact through their wonderful generosity.

To recieve your free copy, contact Maria Pavela, Development Manager (Bequests) on 4921 8612 or email

Read more in the Gift Newsletter