$5M Potter Foundation Donation for Vocational Education and Training
15 February 2017 at 11:56 am
A $5 million donation from The Ian Potter Foundation will help fund a new state-of-the-art skills development hub at Victoria University’s Sunshine campus to tackle job shortages in Melbourne’s West.
The philanthropic grant will complement funding from the Victorian government and is the foundation’s first major investment in vocational education and training.
Victoria University (VU) said the significant investment would allow students to study construction technologies, advanced manufacturing and health technologies; use simulated learning environments for health and community services; and have a dedicated space for targeted language, literacy and numeracy programs.
The $10 million expansion follows the first 12 months for VU’s TAFE division, Victoria Polytechnic (VPoly) to develop graduates with relevant industry skills aligned with community needs.
VU vice-chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins said the funding from The Ian Potter Foundation, along with the investment by the Victorian government, sent a strong signal for the continued success of VPoly and the importance of vocational education and training.
“With [their] support this new skills development hub will allow VPoly to respond in an even greater way to the needs of industry, the community and a diverse cohort of students with vocational and competency based courses and degrees,” Dawkins said.
Chairman of The Ian Potter Foundation Charles Goode AC said the foundation was particularly excited by the Centre for Engineering Design and Innovation being included in the new building.
“The innovation hub will allow for rapid prototype design, micro manufacturing, practice-sharing and networking that will stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship,” Goode said.
“As the foundation’s first major investment in vocational education and training it will enable increased access to relevant skills training in the Western suburbs of Melbourne, encouraging and supporting job creation and industry innovation to meet 21st century trade and industry needs.”
In December 2016 The Ian Potter Foundation donated $4 million to the development of University of Melbourne’s new home for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) at its Southbank campus.
To be called The Ian Potter Southbank Centre, the gift was part of a series of donations from the foundation totalling $14 million towards the revitalisation of the university’s Southbank campus, including its support for the current redevelopment of the former police stables in Dodds Street.
Melbourne University vice-chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said the philanthropic contribution would ensure world-class facilities for students at the MCM into the future and help showcase the talent of Australia’s next generation of artists and performers.
The Ian Potter Foundation was established in 1964 by Australian financier, businessman and philanthropist, Sir Ian Potter who died in 1994.