RMIT University has welcomed a $200,000 gift from the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, the start of a new philanthropic partnership.
RMIT Chancellor, Dr Ziggy Switkowski AO, announced the University would match the significant gift at a special Donor Thank You Reception, where RMIT celebrated philanthropic contributions from its community of donors.
The Westpac gift will support up to 16 scholarships over two years for undergraduate technology students.
The Westpac Bicentennial Foundation is a $100 million fund that aims to deliver 100 scholarships a year, in perpetuity. It is the largest corporate education scholarship fund in Australian history.
The University will match the donation as part of RMIT's Scholarship Philanthropy Fund, which doubles gifts to scholarships up to $10 million to the end of 2015.
Dr Switkowski said the scholarships were aimed at strengthening Australia's pool of talent, building a cohort of technology-literate future leaders, and would also address the current lack of gender balance and diversity in technology graduates.
"Westpac has chosen to support RMIT based on our unique strengths as a global university of technology and design," he said.
"This is a significant investment in our students and culture of philanthropy, and for that, we say a very sincere thank you to Westpac.
"We look forward to a long-term partnership with Westpac that will create opportunities for students for years to come."
Up to eight scholarships will be awarded per year under the two-year scheme, from 2016.
Susan Bannigan, Chief Executive Officer of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, said:
"There is no doubt that for these students and for many, many more students right across the country, the generosity of philanthropy can be life changing.
"We applaud RMIT on the Scholarship Philanthropy Fund and are delighted to be working with you on what we firmly believe will be a partnership that lasts for generations to come.
"This Foundation and this partnership will leave a lasting legacy and one of which we should all be very proud."
The Donor Thank You Reception is an opportunity for the University to thank its community of donors for their support and contributions, and to celebrate the impact of philanthropy at RMIT.
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