Mitchell Uni Donation
7 May 2013 at 9:58 am
High profile businessman and philanthropist Harold Mitchell AC has put his name, and a major donation of $12.5m over five years to Victoria University, to establish a new national public policy think-tank.
“A joint project between the Harold Mitchell Foundation and Victoria University, the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy will fill a critical gap by linking sound research to solid policy making. Its focus will be on addressing health and education disadvantage,” Victoria University announced.
“Through my philanthropic work I am particularly interested in creating socially and economically prosperous communities,” Harold Mitchell said.
“Health and education are big ticket items for the future of Australia. I am backing the Mitchell Institute to make a significant impact on public policy that will directly affect people’s lives for the better.”
Lindsay Tanner, former Federal Minister for Finance and Vice Chancellor's Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Victoria University, is Chairman of the Mitchell Institute Advisory Board. The Deputy Chairman is Rob Knowles, former Victorian Health Minister and current member of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.
Tanner said the talent already recruited to the Mitchell Institute and the governance and financial structure would ensure its independence.
"The diversity of experience and breadth of knowledge we have on board demonstrates our genuine interest in promoting the very best knowledge, research, ideas and solutions that will appeal to governments on both sides of politics," Tanner said.
Victoria University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Dawkins is also a member of the Advisory Board. A former Director of the Melbourne Institute and former Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood, Professor Dawkins believes evidence-based policy reform is vital to real and sustainable social change.
“This is a substantial philanthropic investment and demonstrates Harold Mitchell’s faith in Victoria University and public policy reform; it defines his personal mission to improve health and education inequalities in Australia,” Professor Dawkins said.
"The Mitchell Institute will be a major asset for Victoria University. It’s also a great opportunity for leading Australian analysts and researchers to make an important impact on policy thinking and implementation on a national scale.”
The Executive Director of the Mitchell Institute is Mark Burford, a senior government adviser in education and public policy.
Burford said the Mitchell Institute has a mandate to push policy debate towards action and looks forward to working with Victoria University to establish research communities in Melbourne’s western suburbs to track and improve the impact of health and education policies.
Harold Mitchell established the Harold Mitchell Foundation in 2000 – philanthropic initiative that channels resources to make a difference in the areas of health and education.
Victoria University is based in Melbourne's west, the fastest growing region in Australia.