Medich Foundation donates $5 million to Indigenous Centre of Excellence

Western Sydney University and Dr Roy Medich OAM are delighted to announce a major $5 million philanthropic donation from the Medich Foundation to the University’s new Indigenous Centre of Excellence.

The Medich Foundation will be the founding donor for the Indigenous Centre of Excellence, which aims to strengthen Indigenous arts, culture and education in Western Sydney. The Centre will be based at the University’s Parramatta South campus on Darug Land.

The state-of-the-art building will serve as an important gathering place for the community to celebrate both the University’s and the region’s long-standing connection with Indigenous people and will provide a benchmark for Indigenous leadership, governance and education.

The Medich Foundation’s significant gift will create the Dr Roy Medich OAM Endowment for Indigenous Arts, Culture and Education to supporta range of Indigenous-led arts, culture and education initiatives associated with the Indigenous Centre of Excellence, including:

  • The establishment of the ‘Medich Indigenous Scholarships’ to support Indigenous students studying Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, or Communications at Western Sydney University.
  • The Indigenous Artist-in-Residence program, facilitating short or long-term visits by Indigenous artists to the University. This will create a pathway for emerging and established Indigenous artists, creative practitioners and creative researchers to collaborate with Western Sydney University students and staff and share knowledge.
  • The establishment of an Indigenous Art Curator position to support the development and growth of the University’s Indigenous art collections, with a particular emphasis on Western Sydney.
  • Contributions to a State of the Arts: Indigenous Arts and Culture in Western Sydney report.

In recognition of the gift, the University will co-name the major gallery space within the Indigenous Centre of Excellence, The Medich Foundation Gallery, which will follow appropriate Indigenous wording to recognise the local Indigenous communities in the region.

Professor Barney Glover AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, acknowledged and thanked Dr Medich and the Medich Foundation for their philanthropic support and shared vision.

“Dr Roy Medich has been a longstanding friend and donor to Western Sydney University and we are delighted to partner with him and the Medich Foundation to help bring this landmark project to life and foster the next generation of Indigenous leaders,” said Professor Glover.

“This gift is an important investment in the future of our region. The Indigenous Centre of Excellence will be a vibrant gathering place for Indigenous education, research and engagement in the heart of Western Sydney. It will also help promote a more equitable future for First Nations’ people and further build a sense of identity, cultural pride and social inclusion for local Indigenous communities.

“On behalf of the University community, I thank Roy Medich and the Medich Foundation for their incredible philanthropic support – their generosity and kindness will create a legacy of lasting opportunity for the people of Western Sydney.”

Dr Medich said: “The establishment of the centre is a practical way to educate, empower and assist the Indigenous communities of Western Sydney and beyond. We are extremely proud to be involved with such a worthy cause and look forward to working with Western Sydney University as the project evolves.”

“The Medich Foundation hopes that the Centre will have a profound generational impact on young Indigenous people by increasing their access to life changing opportunities and creating new pathways for our future leaders.”

Western Sydney University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership, Professor Michelle Trudgett said the new Centre will play a key role in realising the intent of the University’s Indigenous Strategy 2020-2025 and its ambition to be a national leader in Indigenous higher education.

The building will be accessible to the region’s schools, residents, and businesses and provide the opportunity for people to learn more about the rich Indigenous culture and heritage of the region, explore its arts and cultural collections, and attend performances, talks and screenings.

“We are very excited by the opportunity to explore how the governance model of the Indigenous Centre of Excellence can embrace Indigenous self-determination. This will be a transformational place of research and inquiry, where tens of thousands of years of Indigenous knowledge and history will be celebrated throughout a state-of-the-art building, forging new horizons of Indigenous excellence and leadership,” said Professor Trudgett.

“Western Sydney is home to the largest Indigenous population in the country, so it is only fitting that we create a place for Indigenous people to celebrate culture and connection to Country.”

ENDS

29 November 2023

Media Unit