Today is GivingTuesday, a globally recognised day to celebrate the generosity of our communities. Did you know Australians were ranked the second most generous people in the world1? Our amazing alumni certainly prove this!
Many of you are part of the University’s philanthropic community; donating to worthwhile causes including student scholarships, ground-breaking research and community programs. A big shout out and thank you to these people! Another big thanks for those who volunteer their time for mentoring or other causes they’re passionate about – you’re incredible!
Supporting others is said to make you feel happier2; here’s just some of the ways our alumni are contributing and feeling good while doing so:
We have various types of scholarships at the University, both those to support and encourage our highest achieving students and those to assist students attending University while facing hardships. Alumni donate to the LGBTQIA+ Shaping Futures Scholarship, the Doherty Ellis Undergraduate Scholarship for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students and the Helen Maslen Scholarship for survivors of domestic violence. A large number of our alumni donors generously support Shaping Futures Scholarships via a fund that was established in 2011 to support students facing educational disadvantage who are most in need.
Scholarships make a huge difference for students facing adversity while studying; for some it can mean the difference between being able to finish their degree or not. Elle, one of our Bachelor of Psychological Science students has been through so much to get to where she is today, and she’s incredibly grateful to the generous supporters of the Shaping Futures Scholarship she received. Watch Elle’s inspiring story here.
Our University is responsible for ground-breaking research which has a global impact. Many of our alumni donate to the Research and Discovery Fund, which can support vital research activities at the University such as PhD Top-up Scholarships, early career research fellowships and research equipment.
The support of research could inspire new ideas and new discoveries; help treat diabetes, tackle pollution, solve climate change, design life-changing software, find new ways to assist Indigenous communities … Philanthropic support for research also enables the University to apply for additional Australian Government funding through research block grants!
There’s also a range of projects that alumni support to help make a difference in our communities, like the Science and Engineering Challenge, out(fit), the Family Action Centre and HunterWISE: Women in STEM.
Thanks to the kindness of alumni donors, together we are bettering our communities. We are getting more women involved in STEM, supporting our local families through outreach programs and inspiring Australian kids to create a future in science or engineering.
In September, 12 of our alumni participated in The Ikara-Flinders Ranges Challenge, walking 100 kms over 5 days and raising more than $161,000 towards scholarships for Indigenous students at the University and health research to benefit Indigenous communities. Many of our alumni supported their friends, family and colleagues taking on the Challenge by making a donation – thank you, your kindness has not gone unnoticed!
Giving Beyond a Lifetime
A number of our alumni have generously chosen to leave a legacy by including the University as a beneficiary in their will.
Bequests have funded many wonderful scholarships, prizes and research projects at the University. You may not be aware but many scholarships, such as the Dr Beryl Collier Indigenous Education Scholarship and the Hartley Exchange Studies Scholarships, were funded by generous individuals who wanted to change lives, even beyond their own lifetime.
What’s most important at the University of Newcastle is that 100% of your donation goes to your chosen cause to maximise the impact!
Happy GivingTuesday! And thank you to our generous community of alumni donors – you know who you are!
2 Elizabeth W. Dunn, Lara B. Akin, Michael I. Norton (2008). Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness. Science 21 March 2008: Vol. 319, Issue 5870, pp. 1687-1688.
- Rebecca Stone
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