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Where there’s a Will, there’s a way to fund vital research

This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Autumn ‘23
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Faye Mclaren and Ian Heyme at an event

While WEHI’s success has always been a shared journey supported by thousands of donors, many have made particularly special contributions by leaving gifts to WEHI in their Wills.

Bequests are central to WEHI’s ability to work with a sense of urgency. They often come along at just the right moment to fund a creative and ambitious new idea or invest in cutting-edge technology that accelerates research progress towards mastering disease and solving some of the world’s most complex health problems.

Anyone who chooses to leave a gift to WEHI in their Will is welcomed into the Walter and Eliza Hall Society – a group of like-minded people who are offered several opportunities each year to engage with WEHI’s scientists and hear about their current research endeavours. Society events give WEHI scientists and staff a way to thank bequest supporters and include them in the WEHI community during their lifetimes.

In December 2022, Society members attended a Festive Lunch at Melbourne’s historic Hotel Windsor. One of WEHI’s bequest supporters – Ian Heyme – shares his experience of the gathering:

“The Walter and Eliza Hall Society Festive Lunch was just a terrific event. The venue and catering were delightful, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with WEHI researchers, staff and other supporters.

WEHI director, Professor Doug Hilton, is a most interesting speaker with a wealth of knowledge and experience. As well as being a warm and welcoming host at these events, he has a great ability to convey to the guests a layperson’s understanding of the tasks currently underway. Two researchers also gave very clear presentations about their work and spoke to their audience in a way that made me feel like I am part of the team.

My niece Faye came along as my guest and was also very impressed by the experience. Our table companions were great company, and we enjoyed hearing about their specific interests in WEHI’s research. As with other events I’ve attended in the past, we also had a scientist at our table and it was fascinating to hear more about her current research focus.

I’m very pleased to support WEHI’s valuable research as much as I can. The staff and researchers are friendly, knowledgeable and respectful, and I always come away from these events feeling sincerely valued and thanked as a bequest supporter. The Society events are a fulfilling experience, and I would thoroughly recommend coming along.”

Several Walter and Eliza Hall Society events are planned for 2023, including locations in regional Victoria. If you would like to know more about the events or information on leaving a gift to WEHI in your Will, please contact the Future Giving team for a confidential discussion: Anne Rady 03 9345 2929; Heather Kiley 03 9345 2555.

First published on 15 March 2023
This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Autumn ‘23
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