Prof Jason Kovacic with award winner Ros Packer AO

Chuck Feeney Award for Philanthropy 2024

Roslyn Packer Worthy Recipient of Chuck Feeney Award for Philanthropy

28 March 2024

Renowned philanthropist Mrs Roslyn (Ros) Packer AC has been awarded the Chuck Feeney Award for Philanthropy by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

The honour was bestowed on Mrs Packer at a special event held at the Institute’s headquarters in Darlinghurst, which was built thanks to significant donations from both the Packer and Lowy families.

Mrs Packer told attendees she was proud to receive the award, which acknowledged the family’s philanthropic work and, in particular, their support of the Institute.

Mrs Packer, who sat on Institute’s board for 11 years, said: I feel my work has been complementary to, and an extension of our family’s and particularly Kerry’s philanthropy.

“Kerry was a close friend of the late Dr Victor Chang and admired his brilliance and commitment to cutting edge medical practices. Kerry was the first patron of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, ensuring it had the financial resources to continue Victor’s passion for education and innovation in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery.
Ros Packer at the award ceremony

“I know that Kerry would be incredibly proud that the Institute is recognised as one of the most respected medical facilities in the world with breakthrough after breakthrough transforming our understanding of heart disease.”

Professor Jason Kovacic, the Institute’s Director, and CEO, highlighted the incredible breadth of organisations the Packer family has supported over the years, saying: “The Packer family, and Ros in particular, understand the many benefits of supporting medical research in Australia. For this alone, Ros would be a worthy recipient of the Institute's Chuck Feeney Award for Philanthropy.

But, as in the case of the world's greatest givers - Ros's philanthropic interests are far broader than just medical research.”

The Packer family has been engaged with philanthropy for generations and has given generously to St Vincent’s Private Hospital and Murdoch Children's Research Institute.

Mrs Packer is also an avid supporter of the arts with the Sydney Theatre Company, National Gallery of Australia, Sydney Festival, Australian Ballet, Opera Australia, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sculpture by the Sea, the Venice Biennale, the Hunter Valley Community Foundation and the National Trust of Australia all benefiting from her support.

In 2014, James and Gretel Packer founded the Packer Family Foundation to bring together the many areas that they had each been supporting individually.

They committed to providing $100 million over ten years to support medical, arts, community and education programs and last year donated an incredible $3.75 million to the Institute’s Innovation Centre.

Ros Packer with daughter Gretel and granddaughter Francesca

Professor Kovacic concluded by saying: “Ros has played an important role in many remarkable organisations – not least the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. You were there for when we sought funding for this incredible building that has housed us for nearly 20 years, served on our board for 11 years, and once again chose to make a gift that will be instrumental to our future.”

The Chuck Feeney Award for Philanthropy was established in 2022 and acknowledges philanthropists who have worked to create lasting, positive changes to cardiovascular health worldwide.

Chuck Feeney gave away his entire business fortune of $11 billion through Atlantic Philanthropies, providing $549 million to Australia for health, research, and higher education. In 2005 he gave $20 million towards the building of the Institute’s headquarters in Darlinghurst.

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute - The Home of Heart Research for 30 Years