Foundation History

The Council of Hawkesbury Agricultural College established the Hawkesbury Foundation in 1982 as they saw the need for a fundraising and support generation body to assist the College in its development. The College Principal of the time, Graham Swain strongly supported the new Foundation as did Owen Carter the then Deputy Principal and Sir William Vines the Council’s Chairman.

The corporate structure of the Hawkesbury Foundation is a Company Limited by Guarantee, which acts as Trustee of three Hawkesbury Foundation Trust Funds. There is a General Purpose Trust, an Endowment Trust, and the E.A. Southee Trust, all managed and controlled by the Board of the Company. The Trusts hold Charity status for taxation purposes so all donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. Board Directors are elected annually from the donors to the Foundation.

In 1989 with the move of Hawkesbury Agricultural College to become part of the new University of Western Sydney the decision was made to retain the Hawkesbury Foundation as a separate independent entity and thus a means of ensuring ongoing assistance for Hawkesbury Campus developments and support of students attending the Campus via scholarships and prizes.

The Hawkesbury Endowment Trust was specifically established to manage a corpus donation of $1 million dollars given to the Hawkesbury Foundation by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation to establish a Chair in Agriculture at Hawkesbury. The Hawkesbury Foundation, via astute financial management over the past 25 years, has built the invested corpus to approximately $2 million whilst funding the Chair.

In total the Hawkesbury Foundation now has over $3.6 million dollars in Corpus funds under management via its three Trust Funds. This allows the Foundation to transfer approximately $250,000 p.a. to the University to support initiatives at the Hawkesbury Campus. In addition the Foundation has to meet all of its own operating costs, and does so very efficiently for a Charity. The Foundation does not employ any staff but relies on volunteer help for fundraising and to support generating activities A large part of the administrative costs are represented by fee-for-service payments to professionals for certain essential administrative services, such as accounting, auditing and investment management.

Donations made by the Foundation

The main support donations undertaken by the Hawkesbury Foundation are shown below:

  • Funding for the endowed Chair in Agriculture: $125,000 to $150,000 p.a
  • Scholarships and Prizes: (ten undergraduate scholarships and five prizes): $60,000 p.a.
  • F.G. Swain Postgraduate Researcher Award: $10,000 p.a.
  • E.A Southee Scholarships: $12,000 p.a.
  • Library Books Donation (Rhoda Barr Fund): $5,000 p.a.

In addition to undertaking fundraising the Hawkesbury Foundation assists Hawkesbury via lobbying and support generation. In 2006 the Foundation, working with the Hawkesbury Campus Provost, successfully lobbied the federal government for a one-off $2 million equipment grant for the Hawkesbury Campus. This grant was tied to the acquisition of a laser scanning confocal microscope that placed Hawkesbury at the leading edge of scientific imaging technology.

The Stable Square Paver Walk

One of the ongoing Foundation Projects is the Stable Square Paver Walk where students and staff can purchase an engraved paver in the walk for $300. The funds raised go to support for student scholarships for Hawkesbury students.


For additional information about the Hawkesbury Foundation and its work please contact Brian Lindsay via email or by phone 4570 1154 on most Mondays (usually contactable between 10 am and 3 pm).