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Paul Little and Jane Hansen Donate $10M to Melbourne Uni


23 November 2015 at 3:52 pm
Ellie Cooper
Australian businessman and Chair of Essendon Football Club, Paul Little AO, and former investment banker, Jane Hansen, announced a $10 million donation to the University of Melbourne as their charity’s first major philanthropic gift.

Ellie Cooper | 23 November 2015 at 3:52 pm


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Paul Little and Jane Hansen Donate $10M to Melbourne Uni
23 November 2015 at 3:52 pm

Australian businessman and Chair of Essendon Football Club, Paul Little AO, and former investment banker, Jane Hansen, announced a $10 million donation to the University of Melbourne as their charity’s first major philanthropic gift.  

The donation from their recently established Little Foundation, made by the couple on Monday, established the Hansen Trust to further the teaching of history studies.

The Trust will receive $8 million, which is believed to be the most significant donation to the study of history in Australia. It is also the largest gift the University’s Faculty of Arts has received.

The remaining $2 million will be used to support other projects within the University of Melbourne.

Photo: Peter Casamento

Hansen, also Chair of the Little Foundation, said that, as a lover of history, she wanted to raise the visibility and value of history education.

“I want to encourage awareness of the significance of an education in history and nurture a passion and appreciation for its relevance in the wider community,” Hansen said.

“It is my intention that The Hansen Trust will change the conversation about history. As a key discipline in the humanities, history teaches us to think innovatively, critically, imaginatively and morally; it helps us to enter into the lives of those who went before us and shows us that the skills required to respond to the challenges of our society won’t just come from laboratories, datasets and spreadsheets.

“I hope this gift will also develop the well-rounded, engaged and creative students we need to navigate Australia’s future.”

Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Mark Considine, said that the Trust would fund several initiatives to help strengthen the history program.

“The Trust will fund The Hansen Chair in History in perpetuity, three Hansen Lectureships for a period of five years, an annual Hansen PhD Scholarship and, in conjunction with the Faculty of Arts, a Senior Lectureship in History, ” Professor Considine said.

“Together, these initiatives promise a really bright future for History at Melbourne, and I’m looking forward to working with colleagues to extend Jane Hansen’s inspiring vision."

Paul Little established the transport and logistics giant, Toll Holdings 30 years ago and stepped down as its Chief Executive in 2012. In 2014 he was listed on BRW’s Rich 200 List as being worth $780 million.


Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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