University of Sydney fundraising campaign reaches $600 million target two years early

INSPIRED – the campaign to support the University of Sydney has reached its goal of $600 million, two years ahead of schedule.

Launched in 2008, the ten year fundraising campaign was the first and most ambitious of its kind in Australian higher education. With its original goal now realised, INSPIRED’s new target has been revised to $750 million by the end of 2017.

“We’ve reached this goal thanks to more than 43,000 generous supporters who have donated to the University since the campaign began,” said Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sydney.

“Reaching our goal more than two years early demonstrates a common belief that the University is at the forefront of meaningful change to our society, pursuing ideas that will shape our future.

“The impact that we can make with $600 million is already being seen on a local, national and global scale. Setting a new target gives us the opportunity to do even more.”

Donations this year to INSPIRED include:

  • $33.7 million, the largest single research donation in the University’s history, from Barry and Joy Lambert, to research the medical applications of cannabinoids for chronic illnesses.
  • $15 million for the establishment of the Chau Chak Wing Museum
  • $10.8 million from the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation to establish 12 annual nursing scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate student nurses
  • $5 million to the University’s Charles Perkins Centre to fast-track child health research, given by the Financial Markets Foundation for Children.
  • $3.6 million raised in 24 hours from 1000 donors from the Pave the Way online and campus fundraising challenge
  • $2 million from sleep apnea expert and University of Sydney Professor Colin Sullivan to bolster research into sleep and its relationship to chronic disease

“The success of the campaign shows that the culture of philanthropy in Australia is growing at an unprecedented pace. This bodes well for universities across the nation, and for the University of Sydney in particular,” said Tim Dolan, Vice Principal (Advancement) at the University of Sydney.


When the shared passions of donors and recipients come together at the University of Sydney, real and lasting change is made possible. The below video highlights some of what our community is inspired to do together.