Australian Millionaire Gives $51.5 Million to Establish Scholarship Program

The Australian National University in Canberra has announced a gift of Au$50 million from alumnus Graham Tuckwell and his wife, Louise, to establish a scholarship program.

The largest philanthropic gift ever to an Australian university by an Australian citizen will provide scholarships to students to help meet their living expenses. Starting in 2014, the program will award up to twenty-five Tuckwell Scholarships annually; the scholarships will provide $20,000 a year for up to five years for expenses such as accommodations and living expenses. Students will be selected from among high school graduates who score at least a 95 on the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank — essentially, placing in the top 5 percent — and display "a rounded set of attributes."

Tuckwell, a financial entrepreneur, launched Gold Bullion Securities in Australia in 2003 and has a fortune valued at more than Au$750 million.

"It is a philanthropic venture of truly awesome scale," said Australian prime minister Julia Gillard. "As soon as I sat down with Graham, I knew that I had found a kindred spirit — someone who shares a passion for education and for ensuring that people get the best opportunities in life. So, with a real sense of thanks, on behalf of the nation, thank you to Graham and Louise Tuckwell; thank you for what you will achieve with this money and thank you for the example that you have given our nation of philanthropy at its best."

Jessica Marszalek. "Millionaire Graham Tuckwell's Valuable Lesson — Give $50M to Help Strangers." Daily Telegraph (Australia) 02/06/2013. "$50M Gift Funds National Scholarships." Australian National University Press Release 02/05/2013.