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Case study: Advancing healthcare through family philanthropy

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The Percy Baxter Charitable Trust has been managed by Perpetual since 1949. Members of the Baxter family continue to act as Trustee to this day and have worked alongside Perpetual over the years to fund Australian charities in the social welfare and medical research sectors.  

In FY23, the Percy Baxter Charitable Trust made significant commitments to two initiatives totalling $3 million over three years. The first recipient is the Burnet Institute for the Australian Institute for Infectious Diseases (AIID), who are creating a world-leading research centre in infectious disease with the goal of protecting human health and preventing future pandemics. The commitment to the AIID will support much-needed International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certified laboratories which are essential for the rapid production of proteins to make novel vaccines.  

The other grant is dedicated to The Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, who are working on dementia research using mRNA technology. The funding from the Trust will be used by the Florey Institute to establish the program infrastructure, including dedicated research staff and equipment. This will strengthen a patient-centred collaborative partnership between researchers, clinicians, and consumers.  

This continues a long tradition of The Percy Baxter Charitable Trust as early investors in key medical research institutes and technology in Victoria.  

“The mRNA technology is a new horizon in medicine with huge potential to treat diseases that we’ve never been able to before. We’ve also chosen to support dementia as the instances are increasing with an aging population. There is great hope that we can develop drugs to treat this in future.”    

Dr John Baxter, Chair of The Percy Baxter Charitable Trust