Great gifts to deliver new opportunities for students

UniSA Vice Chancellor David Lloyd with Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill and Andrew Pridham who presents a $5 million gift to support the new great hall under construction and now to be known as Pridham Hall. INSIDE UNISA
UniSA Vice Chancellor David Lloyd with Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill and Andrew Pridham who presents a $5 million gift to support the new great hall under construction and now to be known as Pridham Hall.

UniSA’s new great hall will be known as Pridham Hall after the University received the largest single private donation in its 25-year history of $5 million

The Pridham Foundation, which administers the philanthropic giving by the family of UniSA graduate Andrew Pridham, has presented a $5 million gift to support the new great hall – now under construction on Hindley Street.

And in a boost to scholarship opportunities, the Pridham gift has inspired the State Government to commit $1 million to create two new perpetual scholarship programs at UniSA.

The Elite Athlete Scholarship will support high-achieving sportspeople to attain their university education at UniSA; and the Goodes O’Loughlin UniSA GO Scholarship will recognise outstanding academic merit by high-achieving Aboriginal students seeking to study at the University in a range of programs and expands the work of Adam Goodes’ and Mick O’Loughlin’s GO Foundation.

Co-Founder of the GO Foundation Michael O’Loughlin with Andrew Pridham, Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill and UniSA Vice Chancellor David Lloyd.Co-Founder of the GO Foundation Michael O’Loughlin with Andrew Pridham, Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill and UniSA Vice Chancellor David Lloyd.

At the launch, Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill said the new scholarships would enhance the State’s reputation as a place where talented athletes are supported to achieve their goals. He says he is also delighted to engage with the GO Foundation in supporting high-achieving Aboriginal students to pursue their education goals.

Premier Weatherill says Andrew Pridham’s personal commitment to enhancing Aboriginal access to higher education and the natural link to two South Australian-born AFL legends – Michael O’ Loughlin and Adam Goodes – meant that engaging around the creation of the GO Scholarship was a logical step for the Government.

“Andrew’s amazing gift to UniSA’s iconic new hall was an inspiration for us to partner in this investment by offering a fund for perpetual sports scholarships in the State so our leading athletes can complete their studies right here and at the same time, aspire to international success in their chosen sport.”

Delighted with the scholarship support, Co-Founder of the GO Foundation Michael O’Loughlin says the package of Government and private sponsorship for education in South Australia is a great example for others.

“Having worked with and known Andrew Pridham for many years I am really proud to see how his personal generosity will make a difference here in my home state of South Australia,” O’Loughlin says.

“We are very grateful to the State Government for taking this opportunity to launch important scholarships that will advance the educational and sporting opportunities for not only Aboriginal students, but all students who want to pursue their dreams but that might be otherwise held back by lack of funds.

“This is a great example for all those who are interested in giving back to society.”

Adelaide born and educated, Andrew Pridham completed his Bachelor of Applied Science in Property Resource Management at UniSA, before moving to Sydney and then internationally to further pursue his career in investment banking.

In announcing the gift, Pridham reflected that without the education he received at UniSA, it was unlikely he would have had the career success he has been lucky enough to enjoy.

As a 17 year-old he contemplated studying Law at Adelaide University but made the decision to enrol in a property degree at UniSA antecedent institution – the South Australian Institute of Technology (SAIT).

“The course I studied at SAIT was, I believe, some 5 to 10 years ahead of any other tertiary course in real estate in the world at that time. Looking back it was quite remarkable,” Pridham says.

His business career has spanned time based in Sydney, London and Singapore, and today he is Chief Executive Officer of Moelis & Company Australia, a New York headquartered investment bank, which he established in Australia in 2009.

His love of sport and his commitment to the role of education in transforming lives is well known, particularly through his role as Chairman of the Sydney Swans, and the facilities in the new hall represent both of those passions, offering state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including a 25m pool, as well as the new graduations hall, where academic success will be celebrated by future generations.

Pridham says he is delighted to be able to support UniSA and in doing so, to contribute to future generations of South Australians and international students choosing to study in SA.

“I received an outstanding education at UniSA and count myself fortunate to be an alumnus”, Pridham says.

“Having seen the plans for the great hall, I know it is going to be an exciting and dynamic building with an innovative combination of auditorium and sporting facilities and that matches my interest in both education and sport. I see it as a place for grand celebrations, such as graduations, in addition to being a daily hub for sport.

“I’ve always believed that it is important for people who have the capacity to contribute to the broader Australian community to do so generously and encourage others to do the same.

“I can say from personal experience that giving to others delivers far more satisfaction and happiness than does accumulating for oneself.

“I believe you should never forget where you came from; take what you do very seriously but don't take yourself too seriously.”

Pridham has a great confidence that UniSA will continue to build and enhance its reputation as one of the finest and most innovative universities in Australia, and indeed in the world, and he believes the great hall will play its part in this progress.

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Prof David Lloyd says the generous Pridham gift is inspiring, but so is the man himself.

“Andrew is a fantastic example of everything we hope a UniSA graduate should be – he is enterprising, has used all of his talents to their utmost, and is always mindful of how he can use his success to make a positive difference to others,” Prof Lloyd says.

“Pridham Hall transforms our sporting facilities in the heart of the city, adding a swimming pool, playing courts and a gym for our students and that is a great boon for those who are committed to a sports training regime.

“A key role for the University is to provide opportunities for all South Australians to realise their academic goals, but also to offer them every support to reach their full potential – including nurturing their talents beyond academia.”

Prof Lloyd says the University is grateful for the additional, special contribution from the State Government that was catalysed by the scale and impact of the Pridham donation.

Andrew Pridham thanked the Premier and says the State Government’s investment for scholarships benefitting the Indigenous and elite sporting talent is amazing.

Andrew Pridham with his family.Andrew Pridham with his family.

“Through my involvement at the Sydney Swans I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to develop a deeper respect and understanding of Indigenous Australians and am determined to assist in any way I can to enhance their prospects for a life of dignity, success and happiness,” Pridham says.

“My family and I have a strong belief in the hugely positive role education and sport can play in the lives of our youth. I have great confidence in the future of South Australia and hope that this gift can inspire all South Australian’s to share in this confidence.”

Take a tour through Pridham Hall here.