Memorial Funds and Appeals

Learn more about the memorial funds and appeals you can support

Robert Hayes Memorial Fund

This Fund has been established in memory of Associate Professor Robert Hayes to provide scholarships to outstanding students with a passion for studying law but who need a helping hand to get them on their way.

Robert Alexander Hayes was born on 12 January 1942 in Melbourne.

During his lifetime, Dr Hayes was dedicated to providing fairness and justice for the most vulnerable in society drawing from his own personal experiences to make a lasting impact.

Dr Hayes was closely involved with a number of community services and for over 40 years, he was often the last line of defence for some of the most misunderstood, marginalised and forgotten members of our community.

He was passionate about teaching law and the real and everyday way the law engaged with society. His lifelong ambition was to have an impact on the way the law engaged with people on a daily basis.

One of the first law students in Australia to graduate with a PhD, as a young academic he held visiting professorships at Canada's McGill and Toronto universities.

Although his first job was as a teacher at Monash University, he was later to teach law at seven other universities during his career.

In his final position, Associate Professor at the Western Sydney University School of Law, Dr Robert Hayes was committed to providing the highest quality legal education to his students. His lectures were popular for their humour and directness. Dr Hayes challenged students to think about how the harsh reality of everyday life conflicted with the rights of individuals.

Associate Professor Cecily Hengstberger-Sims Memorial Appeal

The Associate Professor Cecily Hengstberger-Sims Memorial Appeal was launched by her colleagues at Western Sydney University in close collaboration with her family and friends.

Associate Professor Cecily Hengstberger-Sims Cecily had a thirty year association with the University and Campbelltown campus which began in 1987 when she joined the Macarthur Institute of Higher Education. She held many leadership roles during that time, the most recent as the Deputy Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery. She was a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing Australia and the College of Nursing, and foundation member of the Western Sydney University Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

Throughout her career Cecily's research and teaching focus was on curriculum development, implementation and evaluation in nursing, transition to graduate practice, workforce issues and education related to preparation for practice. She made outstanding contributions to the nursing programs, guiding and nurturing the next generation of students and nurse academics. Her work directly contributed to the success of the school and students as evidenced by the QS top 50 world ranking and the standing of our nursing students in industry.

Cecily was much loved and respected by students and colleagues alike and will be missed by her many friends at Western Sydney University. Our thoughts are with her family, particularly husband Les and daughter Alysha.

The Cecily Hengstberger-Sims Memorial Fund
Funds raised through this appeal along with on-going donations will be used towards an endowment fund named for Cecily. The memorial fund will support prizes and scholarships for nursing students as a fitting and heartfelt memoriam.

Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible and 100% of your donation will go towards the memorial fund with no administration costs taken out.

Donations from staff at the university will be matched to the Western Sydney University Community Scholarships fund. If you are a member of staff and wish to donate, please contact the Office of Advancement & Alumni for information on how to make your contribution via payroll.

For any other questions, please contact Kylie Docker

Paul Monteverdi Memorial Fund

The Paul Monteverdi Memorial Fund was established by the family of Paul Monteverdi to perpetually fund grants for students in financial need at Western Sydney University in Paul's memory.

Paul Monteverdi was an exceptional young man and an excellent student enrolled in the Bachelor of Business (Accounting). Amongst his peers and teachers, Paul was known as a kind and generous young man. He would always put others first, selflessly devoting himself to helping those less fortunate in our community. Whether he was sharing his lunch with a homeless person, listening to their stories or lending a helping hand, Paul was always keen to help others.

Paul's friends considered it an honour to be friends with him. He always displayed a kind and generous nature and happy disposition. He valued all his friends and family, with those less fortunate in the community holding a particularly special place in his heart.

Paul passed away unexpectedly on 24 December 2011, while completing the final year of his degree. Paul's commitment to study and enjoyment of university life was recognised through his posthumous graduation in April 2012.

Paul is sadly missed by his family, friends and workmates.

The Paul Monteverdi Memorial Fund
The Paul Monteverdi Memorial Fund will encourage those in the community who have struggled against hardships to achieve a place at University.

Annual grants will be awarded from the fund to support students in need and to celebrate Paul's dedication to improving the lives of those less fortunate.

Paul's family welcome contributions to the Paul Monteverdi Memorial Fund from friends, colleagues and others in the community who share Paul's commitment to education and to helping those in need.

Dani Gilroy Memorial Fund

The Dani Gilroy Memorial Fund was established in memory of Dani Gilroy to perpetually fund a prize for Social Work at Western Sydney University.

Dani Gilroy was an exceptional young woman and an excellent student, enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work. Amongst her peers Dani was known as the 'go to girl' who always made time to support others. She believed in the most beautiful qualities of people and had an incredible ability to bring out the best in her peers. Those who worked alongside Dani recall the experience as a privilege.

Dani was active in student activities on Bankstown campus and enjoyed all aspects of university life. She sought to empower others and to improve the lives and abilities of all people. She was an exceptional human rights advocate for people with a disability, which was demonstrated in her years of service in the disability services sector.

Dani passed away unexpectedly on 13 June 2011, while completing the final year of her degree. She is sadly missed by her peers, teachers, friends, workmates and family.

The Dani Gilroy Memorial Prize for Social Work
The Dani Gilroy Memorial Prize for Social Work will encourage current and future social work students to strive for social justice, while demonstrating academic excellence, wisdom, worldliness and positivity. The prize will be awarded to a Social Work student who has demonstrated a commitment to helping their peers and building and empowering community.

This award will recall and celebrate Dani's dedication to her studies and her immense contribution to campus life.

Your Gift
By giving to the Dani Gilroy Memorial Fund, you are encouraging more students to become active role models in the community whilst striving for greater social justice.

Your gift to the Dani Gilroy Memorial Fund will be invested by the University to create an endowment in perpetuity.

Beth Southwell Memorial Fund

Associate Professor Beth Southwell was an inspiring educator, committed to opportunity and excellence.

Beth grew up in the Tamworth area and studied at the University of New England where she was awarded for her outstanding academic achievements.

Associate Professor Beth SouthwellAs a teacher, Beth was well regarded by her students, especially at North Sydney Girls High School and Penrith High School.

Beth was the first Australian doctorate in mathematics education, travelling to England to achieve her qualification. Her research also took her to Papua New Guinea, where she worked to further the educational aspirations of the local people.

In Sydney Beth was one of few mathematics education researchers until the 1990s when the field began to develop, thanks at least in part to her commitment. While many of Beth's peers went on to hold senior positions in universities, Beth's passion for excellence in mathematics teaching kept her working in this field to the last.

As a lecturer and tutor at Western Sydney University, Beth always presented her students with the most current approaches to mathematics education. For many years, she was influential in syllabus reviews and with the Mathematics Association of NSW encouraging continuing professional development.

Beth's sense of humour and enjoyment spread to her tutorial classes which were both active and theoretical. She stood firmly for quality mathematics teaching and high expectations and against testing regimes and bitsy knowledge. She advocated constructivist learning, alternative authentic assessment, the beauty of mathematical patterns and relationships and the values of mathematics education.

Beth cared for her students, giving them extra assistance out of class, and teaching in programs for mature age students to assist their entry to university.

Beth worked for Western Sydney University (and its previous institutions) from 1972 till her passing in 2007.

Beth Southwell Memorial Prize for Mathematics Education
To honour Beth's achievements and recognise her contribution to the University and the field of mathematics education, the School of Education has established the Beth Southwell Memorial Fund to support a perpetual prize in her memory.

Through gifts from alumni, staff and friends, the Beth Southwell Memorial Prize will support and further the aspirations of current Education students. In memory of Beth's passion and dedication, the Prize recognises final year Education students with outstanding performance in Secondary Mathematics.

Emeritus Professor Jim McKnight Memorial Fund

Rewarding passion and ingenuity

Emeritus Professor Jim McKnight was an exceptional person. He was a Professor of Psychology, a qualified washing machine mechanic, builder, electrician, jewellery maker, bricklayer and author and co-author of 10 books. His wide and varied interests coupled with his passion for helping others made him the person that everyone so admired.

Jim was also the recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for his services to the community. He would resurrect dilapidated washing machines, fix them in his garage, and then donate them to members of the community. The Governor General at the time was compelled to ring him as he was curious to talk with somebody who had received an OAM for fixing washing machines.

When he wasn't working on washing machines or obtaining tradesman qualifications, Jim liked nothing better than to write. He authored or co-authored 10 books, ranging from homosexuality to buying and selling houses.

Jim was always willing to support those who needed him. His acceptance of others, his acts of support, consideration and kindness, and his belief in those he helped spanned his academic and personal life. He preferred to be called Jim rather than Professor, and to be in shorts, T-shirt and thongs.

Jim was a pioneer in psychology education in Australia, but most of all, he was a caring, compassionate, loving human being.

Jim McKnight was one of Australia's eminent professors of psychology.

The Prize
The Emeritus Professor Jim McKnight Memorial Prize encourages today's Western Sydney University psychology students to show initiative, challenge established practices, and to keep in sight the bigger picture by maintaining a diverse array of interests – as reflected in their subject choices.

Jim's willingness to share his time and knowledge benefited many. One recipient of his generosity was inspired to establish the prize, which is awarded to a psychology student who has completed the subject History and Philosophy of Psychology. The School of Psychology staff recommend the beneficiary based on their subject choices, interests and initiative.

In perpetuity
To ensure students continue to be rewarded for their passion and ingenuity, Western Sydney University is seeking to create an endowment that will fund the prize in perpetuity.

By donating to the Emeritus Professor Jim McKnight Memorial Prize, you are encouraging our students to strive to reach their potential, and supporting Western Sydney University as an institution of excellence.

A pioneer in psychology
In 1982, Jim came as a lecturer to Western Sydney University – then the Milperra College of Advanced Education.

He became the head of a relatively small Department of Psychology within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and set about expanding the department.

He was appointed Professor of Psychology in 1995, and supervised the University's first PhD. He was later honoured by the University for 'research supervision excellence'.

In 1999, Jim was awarded a Chair in Psychology and was given the task of building a School of Psychology during the amalgamation of the three members of the University.

Not only did he raise the reputation of the School of Psychology such that it became the second largest in Australia with almost 50 academics, but it was also considered by the Australian Psychological Society as one of the best schools of psychology in Australia.

Jim had a deep and trusting relationship with staff, and the ability to bring together academics with very diverse points of view. His door was always open to staff and students.

His tireless dedication and significant impact on the development of psychology at the University– and around Australia – resulted in the University conferring on him the title of Professor Emeritus in 2007.

The Emeritus Professor Jim McKnight Memorial Prize recognises the significant contributions and achievements of Jim McKnight.

Contact the Office of Advancement and Alumni to discuss how you can help Western Sydney University remain an institution of excellence.

Professor Rao Memorial Scholarship

The Professor B Bhaskara Rao Memorial Scholarship is donated by Professor Rao's wife and son. The Scholarship seeks to encourage and inspire our students in their learning and understanding of economics, in memory of Professor Rao.

Professor Bhaskara 'Bill' Rao was an academic of great distinction. Right up until his death on 30 August 2011, he was preparing papers and manuscripts, reviewing articles for journals and engaging in his greatest love, teaching.

Prof RaoProfessor Rao received his undergraduate education in India and then went to the London School of Economics to complete a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Economics. Professor Rao joined the University of New South Wales in 1973 and completed a PhD there in 1980. In 2003 he accepted a Chair as Professor of Economics at the University of the South Pacific where he stayed until early 2008, when he joined the Western Sydney University.

Professor Rao was a prolific researcher in the fields of macroeconomics and time series econometrics, with collaborations all over the world and articles published in top ranking journals. In addition to seven books, Professor Rao had over 80 journal articles and many others under review when he passed away.

During his later years, Professor Rao was afflicted with Primary Cerebral Sclerosis. It affected him physically but not mentally. In fact, he was extremely prolific in these final years. Professor Rao's dogged determination and energy, despite his afflictions were a testament to his character and an inspiration for others.

In memory of Prof RaoTo say that Professor Rao influenced many is an understatement. He was much loved by his students and colleagues for his intelligence, application, innovation and patience.

Professor Rao made an outstanding contribution to the research profile the University. His mentoring of both staff and postgraduate research students was highly valued and immensely appreciated. He was a world-class academic, mentor, collaborator and researcher.

Professor Kai Yip Cho Memorial Fund

Supporting research in perpetuity

The Professor Kai Yip Cho Memorial Scholarship Endowment was established in 2009 by the family of the late Professor Cho.

Professor Cho's research on mushrooms and his long-term work with the Australian Mushroom Growers' Association gave Western Sydney University a high profile in the field.

In accepting the family's gift, Vice-Chancellor Professor Janice Reid confirmed that the scholarship would be awarded in 2010 to a three-year doctoral student undertaking mushroom growing or harvesting research in biochemistry or microbiology.

This generous donation will ensure the ongoing recognition of the outstanding work of Professor Cho, as well as supporting the future research of students in this unique field.

Mrs Cho and her family were moved to establish this scholarship fund in honour of the late Professor Cho's lifelong work and research. The donation from Mrs Cho will be matched by the University, allowing it to grow in perpetuity.

The scholarship, valued at $10,000 per year, will be awarded in close consultation with Professor Cho's Western Sydney University's colleagues and family.

Sarah Hilton Memorial Fund

The Sarah Hilton Memorial Prize is awarded to the most outstanding graduating English/literature student in Primary Teaching.

Sarah, 20, was a passenger in a friend's car when a tyre blew out causing the car to hit a guardrail and roll on to its roof.

Sarah was held in high esteem and was immensely popular. Her funeral was so crowded that many mourners could not fit inside the church.

As a lover of literature, in particular children's literature, Sarah had been working on her final assignment – an illustrated children's book – on the day of the accident. A friend later finished the assignment and Sarah was awarded her degree posthumously in 1993.

Sarah's friends and family raised $3,200, to establish an annual award in her honour. The recipient of the prize is selected by academic teaching staff.

Sarah was the only child of Mr Norman and Mrs May Hilton. Mr Hilton passed away in 1999. Mrs Hilton maintains a keen interest in the University and the Prize.

Dr Nick Collins Memorial Fund

A memorial award has been established in memory of Dr Nick Collins, to enable a fourth or fifth year medical student to attend the annual RACGP Conference.

Dr Nick Collins was a Senior Lecturer with the Department of General Practice at Western Sydney University, when he tragically and unexpectedly died in August 2014.

Nick joined the University as a Senior Lecturer in the newly formed Department of General Practice on 28 February 2011, where he was responsible for GP Supervisor recruitment and support in the South West of Sydney. He worked to develop a GP Mentoring program for students. He was also engaged in our student teaching and supervised several student research projects, a number culminating in student presentations at the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) annual conference.

As an active member of the RACGP, Nick was pleased to see students engaged in RACGP activities.

Nick was always primarily a GP and his teaching was solidly grounded in the stories of his patients (always anonymised and respectfully described) - his learning from them, informed the students' understanding of management of people with chronic and complex illness. His concern for his patients was evident in every aspect of his description of their problems and of his management. He role modelled for students the best kind of GP. Nick's keen interest in the students extended beyond teaching. In his interactions with the GP Student Network, Nick was said to have "encouraged and inspired us all to make the most of every opportunity and endeavour."

Nick was a kind man who respected everyone he met and was mutually respected including by the many students whose lives and careers he has influenced. Vale Nick Collins – your work will continue through those of us who have respected and loved you.

Dr Rick Hope Memorial Prize Appeal

The Dr Rick Hope Memorial Prize Appeal was launched by his colleagues to raise funds for an endowed prize within the School of Medicine at Western Sydney University.

Dr Hope was born at Parramatta Hospital, lived his young life in Wentworthville and completed his high schooling in Westmead. He studied at the University of Sydney and the Westmead Hospital Clinical School, and completed his Junior Medical Officer and Registrar training at Westmead and St George Hospitals.

On obtaining his FRACP and specialist recognition as a Gastroenterologist, he set up his practice in Blacktown and accepted an appointment as a VMO at Blacktown and Westmead Hospitals.

His passions were patient-centred care and health service reform. His was a consistent voice in speaking up for the interests of all patients. Dr Hope had a great interest in the psychology of wellness and illness, and incorporated this into his daily practise.

He lived his professional and personal life in a consistently ethical manner and expected the same from others.

Dr Hope taught both clinical and endoscopic skills. He particularly loved mentoring, whether this be of medical students, junior medical officers, registrars or fellow consultants.

Sadly, his life was cut short by a catastrophic illness whilst in his prime at age 50.

The Dr Rick Hope Memorial Prize
Funds raised through this appeal along with on-going donations will be used towards an endowment fund named for Rick. The memorial fund will support a prize acknowledging the academic success and ethical behaviour of a final year medical student as a fitting and heartfelt memoriam.

We hope that the successful recipient is inspired by Dr Hope's achievements and will incorporate many of them into their medical career.

Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible and 100% of your donation will go towards the memorial fund with no administration costs taken out.

To make your donation by cheque, please make the cheque out to Western Sydney University and mail to:

Advancement and Alumni
Western Sydney University
Reply Paid 75953

For more information, please contact the Office of Advancement and Alumni.

Hon Brian Sully AM QC Memorial Fund

“Sully QC left an indelible impact on the lives of many [Western Sydney University] law staff, law alumni and law students and the institution of the School of the Law itself. Sully QC gave of his time freely and often, providing an incredible insight into the practical workings of the law, mentoring numerous students and providing genuine and loving friendship. He knew the true meaning of friendship.”

– Jason Donnelly and Kevin Tang, ‘The Hon Brian Thomas Sully AM QC’[2019] Autumn The Journal of the NSW Bar Association 109, 12.

The Hon Brian Sully AM QC had a deep commitment to Western Sydney and our School of Law, and will be remembered with great fondness by many within the University and beyond.

Sully QC was born on 3 February 1936 and passed away on 6 March 2019 after a short illness. Sully QC won a bursary to read law at the University of Sydney from which he graduated in 1959, shortly after he became a solicitor. Sully QC would then embark on a long and distinguished career as a solicitor, barrister, silk, adjunct professor and eventually a Supreme Court Judge.

In response to the loss of the beloved colleague, teacher and friend, the staff and students at the School of Law have established The Hon Brian Sully AM QC Memorial Fund. Sully QC’s family, colleagues and students welcome contributions to the memorial fund from anyone who shares his commitment to an exemplary legal education.

Your donation of $2 or greater is tax-deductible and 100% of your gift will be used to support an academic prize to be awarded annually in honour of Sully QC, as well as provide grants for students travelling to represent the School of Law at competitions such as mooting, trial advocacy, client interviewing and negotiation, or industry events.

Sully QC was called to the New South Wales Bar in 1962 and enjoyed a broad and busy professional practice. He was appointed one of Her Majesty’s Counsel in 1979 and devoted himself to the art of being a barrister. Sully QC once remarked that he loved ‘the Bar with a passion’ and described it as a ‘special place in the upholding of the rule of law’. In 1989, Sully QC was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and presided over substantial common law cases and sat frequently in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Upon his retirement in 2007, Sully QC approached the Western Sydney University School of Law with an offer to teach in areas of Advocacy and Evidence. He did this for many years ex gratia, and was an inspiration to his students as well as his colleagues in the School.

Your generous donation to The Hon Brian Sully AM QC Memorial Fund will ensure the ongoing recognition of his outstanding work, as well as supporting Law students to reach their potential – a pursuit Sully QC was truly passionate about.