Current Grants

University of New South Wales

University of New South Wales

The Balnaves Foundation has committed $1.41 million over the nine years to fund nine scholarships for Indigenous students to study medicine. Each scholarship is $25,000 for every year of their six year degree. The grant also includes funding for two annual prizes. One is for academic performance and extra-curricular activites related to Indigenous Health. The other prize is for the best 'Independent Learning Project' based on Indigenous health. UNSW aims to produce high quality Indigenous medical graduates who are committed to improving the state of Indigenous health, mentoring medical undergraduates and acting as role models in their communities. With health conditions in some Indigenous communities at third world levels, and currently only 140 Indigenous medical practitioners, there is an urgent need for more Indigenous doctors. The Balnaves Foundation provides these scholarships as it recognises that one of the main difficulties Indigenous students face is financial, with many having disadvantaged backgrounds and financial responsibilities above and beyond that of non-Indigenous students.

The Balnaves Foundation has also committed $1.5 million to build a new centre for Nura Gili. Nura Gili provides student support services for Indigenous students, conducts research into Indigenous issues and also provides courses of study - for all students at UNSW - on Indigenous Australia's people, culture and history. Balnaves Place - Home of Nura Gili will provide a central hub for Nura Gili with state-of-the-art technological facilities, a library and study areas. The new centre is an essential part of UNSW's plan to increase Indigenous enrolments to 500 by 2015. There are currently 279 Indigenous students enrolled at UNSW, many of whom have been assisted by the pre-programs and education pathways offered by Nura Gili. These services have resulted in retention rates close to those of non-Indigenous students. Balnaves Place - Home of Nura Gili opened in October 2012.

Neil Balnaves is a member of the Advisory Council and Dean's Circle of the UNSW Faculty of Medicine. In 2010 he was recognised for his service to the faculty with an Honorary Doctorate.

For more information on the Faculty of Medicine or Nura Gili at UNSW please visit:  or


Photo Gallery
Balnaves Place - Home of Nura Gili
Opening of Balnaves Place - Home Nura Gili
Recipients of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Medical Scholarships
Video and Audio Gallery

Title : Doctor keen to close the gap

Feb 13, 2014

 Dr Julian is the first indigenous student to graduate from the University of NSW on a scholarship from the Balnaves Foundation.


Title : Business leaders share their fortunes

Oct 29, 2012

Higher education philanthropy has hit a new high and both the University of Sydney and the University of NSW celebrated receiving major gifts from business people last week.

Title : TV mogul now a 'big brother' for indigenous students - The Australian

Oct 25, 2012

Neil Balnaves will be in esteemed company when he opens a new learning centre for indigenous students at the University of NSW in Sydney today.

Title : NSW Governor opens new Indigenous centre at UNSW - Media Release

Oct 24, 2012

A new learning centre designed to help double Indigenous student enrolments at UNSW has been opened today by the NSW Governor Professor Marie Bashir. Balnaves Place – Home of Nura Gili was made possible thanks to a generous donation of $1.5 million from The Balnaves Foundation.

Title : Former TV chief helps close gap on Aboriginal education

Sep 22, 2012

The entertainment industry executive turned philanthropist Neil Balnaves is ensuring that his lasting legacy is not the Australian version of Big Brother.

Title : Billions spent but Aborigines little better off, says report

Aug 1, 2011

The circumstances of most indigenous Australians are hardly any better today than they were 40 years ago, despite governments having spent tens of billions of dollars, a scathing internal report to federal cabinet says.

Title : UNSWorld - Towards a healthy future

Jun 1, 2009

Making a tangible difference to the wellbeing of Indigenous Australians has motivated generous scholarship support.

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