Landmark donation to support medical research at WSU

Western Sydney University has celebrated a landmark donation of $10million from Mr Leonard Ainsworth AM and Mrs Margarete Ainsworth. Their generous gift will support the University’s health and medical research and in recognition, the building which houses the School of Medicine on the University's Campbelltown Campus has been named the ‘Ainsworth Building’.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony on Friday 28 September, Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover expressed the University’s gratitude to the Ainsworths, saying that the donation would help position the University to deal with some of the most significant health challenges of the region such as diabetes, cancer and dementia.

“We currently stand in one of the fastest growing regions in the country, with the fastest growing populations,” said Professor Glover.

“The School of Medicine had its first intake of students a decade ago and none of us could have predicted how quickly this area was going to grow and how significant its impact would be on the region’s health system. It is critical that we address the huge gaps we are seeing now, before it is too late. Your gift will help us do just that.”

Professor Annemarie Hennessy, Dean of the School of Medicine said: “Now ten years old, our medical school has ensured that the region has doctors from the community, for the community. It has ensured that world renowned researchers, physicians and specialists are embedded in our local hospitals. We have ensured that our teaching programs focus on what the people of Western Sydney want and need. And importantly, that our research is community based, community focused and translational. This is where we really shine, and the difference that our work makes.”

Mr Ainsworth said: “It is a great joy to give and whenever I can I preach the joys of philanthropy – particularly for medical research. I’ve had this interest for a very long time and it’s a real pleasure to see what is being done here. The deciding factor for me in choosing this university, was the Vice Chancellor, who has such passion.”

The decision of the University to name buildings on campus is a significant one, undertaken only when donations of scale are made. The Ainsworth’s gift will enable the university to enhance its support for medical research endeavours while continuing its commitment to building research capacity across the Western Sydney region. It will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

ENDS.

29 September 2018

Media Unit

The Conversation