Multi-million dollar gift boosts mental health

Professor Christina Mitchell, Ms Anne Marie Gasbarro, Mr George Forbes and Professor Margaret Gardner AO

Professor Christina Mitchell, Ms Anne Marie Gasbarro, Mr George Forbes and Professor Margaret Gardner AO

The estate of Monash University economics graduate David Winston Turner, who enjoyed career success as a stockbroker, will provide a $5.2 million gift to support mental health research at Monash University.

This is the largest philanthropic gift received by the University and will be distributed over a seven-year period by the David Winston Turner Endowment Fund.

The generous gift will fund the David Winston Turner Fellowship, Mental Health PhD Scholarships, five large-scale research projects and the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Addiction Clinic within the School of Psychological Sciences and the newly established Monash Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, under the leadership of Professor Kim Cornish, Head of School and Institute Director.

This transformational philanthropic commitment, pledged by the Trustees, recognises the importance of mental health research.

“David was a proud alumnus of Monash, he was also aware of the University’s internationally recognised research in the mental health field. The trustees believe that the establishment of the David Winston Turner Mental Health Project will facilitate essential research to assist those suffering mental health disorders,” the Trustees said.

Monash University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said the generosity of graduates like David Turner in providing philanthropic funding is often the difference between a good university and a great university.

“Through this gift Mr Turner will make a difference in the fight to end human suffering caused by these little understood mental illnesses by funding high quality essential research,” Professor Gardner said.

Professor Gardner said to acknowledge the significance of the gift and the man who made it, the University would name a Professorial Chair in his honour.

“Professor Murat Yucel will hold the David Winston Turner Chair in the School of Psychological Sciences,” Professor Gardner said.

The Trustees officially announced the gift at a function on 4 August 2015.