The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust – a century of support

Eliza Hall as she was at formation of the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust.

Eliza Hall as she was at formation of the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust. Image courtesy of the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust was established on 24 May, 1912 through an extraordinary benefaction of one million pounds made by Eliza Hall in memory of her husband, Walter.

In 1913, the Walter and Eliza hall Trust gave its first donation to the University of Sydney, which established an engineering fellowship.  Since that initial funding The Trust has provided ongoing support to the University in an almost unbroken chain for over 100 years, providing funds for scholarships, fellowships, library funding and donations for the purchase of specialist equipment to almost every conceivable faculty and University cause.

It’s a legacy that has immeasurably enriched the studies and the lives of many of our students, staff and community, and one which is set to continue courtesy of advice that the Trust will continue to provide ongoing support. 

Earlier this year, the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust pledged $250,000 to Save Sight Institute to establish a new Patient Support Program.  As part of Sydney Medical School, the Institute is situated at the Sydney Eye Hospital and seeks to discover innovative approaches to the treatment of glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal dystrophies, uveitis and inflammatory conditions, preserving or restoring sight.

“Save Sight Institute is one of the foremost centres for ophthalmological research, education and treatment in Australia,” says Peter McCluskey, Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology and Director of the Save Sight Institute.

“The generous support provided by the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust is enabling the Institute to create a unique patient support program which addresses critical gaps in care for patients, young and old, who are impacted by blindness and low vision. This program is the first of it’s kind in Australia and will ultimately benefit many marginalised Australians”.

Announced during Pave the Way, the University’s annual 24-hour fundraising campaign, the Trust advised its intention to continue to fund The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Opportunity Scholarship Program providing $120,000 over the next five years to fund 20 scholarships including the continuation of the Walter and Eliza Hall Trust Opportunity Scholarship for a student with a physical disability.

“This scholarship aims to recognise the resilience and dedication of an individual in pursuing an education under often difficult and adverse conditions,” says Helen Cook, Secretary of The Walter and Eliza Hall Trust.

“More widely our scholarships seek to reward those pursuing a career in devotion to others, focusing on students studying social work, nursing or special needs education.”

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence says, “We are incredibly grateful for the Trust’s ongoing belief in our University. Its longstanding support has been instrumental in helping our students and staff achieve their very best. These most recent donations will continue that great legacy.”