The Powerhouse has this week announced its future Parramatta museum is the subject of a $30 million investment delivered by The Walker Family Foundation and Western Sydney University (WSU). The multi-million dollar commitment is one of the largest ever donations to an Australian cultural institution.
The $20 million provided by The Walker Family Foundation will fund access to world-class immersive STEM education experiences at the museum for over 10,000 high school students from Western Sydney and regional NSW every year – including overnight stays at the museum for many of these students. The programs will commence in 2022, with in-school STEM education programming planned for a number of Western Sydney regions. The Walker Family has been named as a Foundation Partner of Powerhouse Parramatta.
Western Sydney University has invested $10 million into Powerhouse Parramatta, cementing its status as the museum’s Foundation University Partner and reinforcing the tertiary institution’s commitment to developing the next generation of Australian innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs.
The investment is a major milestone in the Powerhouse’s campaign to raise $75 million towards the precinct. Museum Trust President, Peter Collins AM QC, says both donations will go a long way towards the museum being a significant cultural institution for the region.
“It is hard to quantify what these incredibly generous investments will mean to generations of young people in Western Sydney as they navigate their way through life where STEM learning is so pivotal to their lives and future livelihoods,” he says.
“Lang Walker’s commitment to Western Sydney is long standing. His visionary investment in the Lang Walker Family Academy will be something parents and the children of Western Sydney and regional NSW will speak about for generations. There will be no STEM learning program like this in Australia and I can’t wait to see this ground-breaking Academy program develop.
“I would like to share my profound gratitude to the Walker Family and Western Sydney University for this extraordinary investment in Powerhouse Parramatta.”
Lang Walker AO, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Walker Corporation says the Walker Family Foundation wants to inspire and educate students in Western Sydney and beyond.
“We are passionate about investing in the education of our future generations in Western Sydney and this academy will deliver the very best in science, technology, engineering and maths,” he says.
“The Lang Walker Family Academy will empower students with the skills they need to succeed in the high-tech 21st century job market.”
Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University, Professor Barney Glover AO, says he is delighted to be working in conjunction with the Walker Family Foundation to invest heavily into Powerhouse Parramatta.
“Together with the incredible generosity of the Walker Family Foundation, Western Sydney University’s contribution will help support the Lang Walker Family Academy to deliver world-class, immersive STEM education experiences for school students from across our region and will see the University’s own students, staff and researchers embedded in the life of the Museum,” said Professor Glover.
“We know that harnessing school students’ early interest in science, technology, engineering and maths, creatively engaging more young people from diverse geographic, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds in STEM and inspiring future generations to actively pursue STEM-related education and careers are all vital for the knowledge economy and Australia’s technological future.’
The Powerhouse Parramatta, designed by Moreau Kusunoki and Genton will be a world-class museum, featuring more than 18,000 sqm of exhibition and public space on the banks of the Parramatta River. Construction, undertaken by Lendlease, will commence in early 2022, with completion of the museum slated for late 2024.
For more information regarding the Powerhouse Parramatta, visit cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/about-parramatta/powerhouse-parramatta.