Wakil family donates more than $27 million to U of Sydney

Marcy Oster

SYDNEY (JTA) — A Jewish family foundation has donated more than $27 million to The University of Sydney.

The gift from the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation is the largest donation to the University of Sydney since it was founded in 1850.

In 2015, the Wakils gave an unprecedented $10.8 million to the Sydney Nursing School in order to establish 12 annual nursing scholarships.

The gift will enable construction of the main building of the University of Sydney’s proposed Health Precinct. For the first time, multiple health disciplines will come together in a purpose-built facility to translate research into education and clinical services.

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“We were inspired by the radical and innovative approach the University of Sydney is taking to address immediate and future healthcare challenges,’’ Isaac Wakil said.   “Susan and I are pleased to be able to make this project a reality.”

In further recognition of the gift, the Faculty of Nursing will be named “The University of Sydney Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery.” The University will also name the professorship held by the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery as “The Susan Wakil Dean’s Professorship of Nursing and Midwifery;”  while a second professorship will be called “The Susan and Isaac Wakil Professorship of Healthy Ageing.”

Honorary Associate Professor Ross Steele, a longtime friend of the Wakils, introduced them to the work being done at the University of Sydney. “I’m delighted to have helped connect the Wakils’ desire to support Australia’s healthcare system with the University’s visionary approach to health research and education,” he said.

Isaac Wakil immigrated to Australia from Baghdad, making his fortune in the clothing industry and subsequently in property acquisition.

Last year the Wakils made a substantial donation to the Sydney Jewish Museum

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