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Media Release

April 2 2007

Packer family donates $2 million to UniSA’s Hawke Centre

Packer Family gift to support Civic Gallery at UniSAThe work of UniSA’s Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre will be given a major boost from a personal donation of $2 million from James Packer, in memory of his father, the late Kerry Packer.

The funds will be used to support the development of the Hawke Centre’s Civic Gallery which will open later this year in the University’s Hawke Building on North Terrace.

The contribution is the largest single personal donation made to UniSA since it was founded in 1991.

Vice Chancellor Professor Denise Bradley paid tribute to the Packer family for its leadership and generosity in supporting a development in SA that would have benefits for the whole community.

Director of the Hawke Centre, Liz Ho, says the Civic Gallery will be an ‘ideas into action’ viewing and gathering space.

“The gallery is one important aspect of the Hawke Centre’s outreach program which aims to strengthen democracy, value diversity and build the future,” Ho said.

“We want to ensure the Civic Gallery becomes a place of vibrant engagement for young people – where they feel encouraged and empowered to become active as citizens, volunteers and leaders both locally and internationally.

“This donation will support the development of that physical space but will also be invested in programs to support young people to become greater participants in their communities.”

The Gallery will display social, cultural and political history, journeying from local Kaurna history through to the inspiring leadership of Hawke Centre’s international patron and Honorary Doctor of the University, South Africa’s Dr Nelson Mandela.

Vice Chancellor Professor Denise Bradley said the Civic Gallery would reinforce the University’s strategic commitment to engagement with the community by showcasing applied research projects that contributed social and environmental benefits.

"When we established the Hawke Centre in 1997 to honour the only South Australian to have achieved the office of Prime Minister, we were hopeful that it would be a symbol of this University’s strong commitment to public learning in the wider community,” Professor Bradley said.

“Already the Centre has received an SA Great Education Award for helping to build South Australia’s international reputation for excellence and it is widely commended for its resources and public programs.

“We believe UniSA’s new and exciting building on North Terrace will ensure the Hawke Centre has a deeper public impact on our understanding and thinking about the common good.

“This enormously generous gift from the Packer Family, pays tribute to Bob Hawke’s national leadership legacy but more importantly it is an investment in new generations. We are sincerely grateful to them for their vote of confidence in the Hawke Centre program and UniSA.”

The Hawke Building on North Terrace, designed by national award winning architect John Wardle in association with Hassell Adelaide, will be officially opened later this year.

As a gift to the nation, UniSA has declared that both the Hawke Centre’s Civic Gallery and the new Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art will be free and will open cultural attractions for the public to enjoy.


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