2020 Giving Report - Catalyst for Change

When a student sets out on their educational pathway into and through tertiary education, they are making an investment in themselves and into their communities.


For many UNE students that journey will be exceptionally challenging, both for the student candidate and quite often their families as well. The University of New England was created to provide higher education opportunities to those who had perhaps missed out on conventional opportunities, those hoping to find more rewarding work and those seeking a pathway to a more productive role in our society. The passage of some sixty years has not changed the needs of our students and most certainly has not lessened the challenges they might face.

At UNE, many of our students are ‘first in family’ candidates, raising their own aspirations and those of their family, others are balancing the complex equation of work and family responsibilities with study and yet more are following a passion which blends learning with service to community and country.

At UNE we value the support that we receive from each and every one of our generous donors, because every single gift will engineer change in someone’s life and by extension change a family, a community and quite often enable generational changes. Each gift is a legacy.

Your decision to invest in the future and donate through a gift to UNE makes a clear and unambiguous statement that you believe education and what it can offer through the careful use of your hard-earned funds. This is something that I as the University’s Vice Chancellor take very seriously. I want you to know that UNE appreciates the trust you place in us as guardians of your investment as well as the extraordinary commitment you are making to our students, to education and to the knowledge sharing processes which drive research with impact.

In this period of ongoing fiscal and policy uncertainty, your donations help this University bring an independent and proudly regional perspective to the national educational environment. Your support enables UNE to be an innovative educational leader. Through the sponsorship of UNE research, donors create new opportunities for this institution to think ‘outside the box’, and look at the ways in which we can contribute knowledge and understanding to the complex and ‘wicked’ problems that face our communities, the environment and the world.

At this particular moment in time when communities across Australia have been ravaged by drought and the hazards of bush fires, an investment in education and research is a statement about the importance and long term future of this country’s remote, rural and regional communities. 2020 will see UNE award a record number of donor supported scholarships, thereby making an enormous difference to the ability of our students to support themselves through their studies, especially those from some of the most challenged regional, rural and remote communities.

Grants from philanthropic bodies and individual donors provided to support our research programs will fund programs across a wide range of fields including archaeology, the environment and social work. Innovative new activities in areas such as rural health and Indigenous education will be possible thanks to the Betty Fyffe Trust and donations from forward thinking alumni such as Max Schroder.

On behalf to the UNE community, I would like to thank all of our current donors—those who gave money and those who provided support by other means—it all made a difference. I also hope that by telling your stories and showing what a difference all these contributions make, that others will be inspired to emulate your example.

Brigid Heywood

Most especially, I would petition our alumni and other potential donors to get more involved with UNE and discover how your contributions can make a real difference to people and to communities. Take the time to explore the many opportunities to support the University and its students in a way that will enhance and develop your own personal aims and professional goals. There is still much room for growth in this area and in 2020 UNE will be working closely with individuals, philanthropic funding bodies and corporate supporters to create new opportunities for our students and the communities we serve.

I would also like to thank the UNE Foundation Board members for volunteering their time and expertise to act as custodians for the aggregated endowment funds and the revenue they generate. The support of the Foundation has also been instrumental in making available emergency funds to students affected by the recent bushfires, special grants for students with refugee status and funds to support a much needed suite of community focused research initiatives.

As the new Vice Chancellor, I have benefited from the rich advice and guidance of many UNE alumni—an amazing resource for a CEO. I look forward to meeting more of you in 2020 and working with each of you to resolve how you might get more involved with UNE.

Professor Brigid Heywood

Vice Chancellor and CEO