Posthumous recognition of benevolent billionaire


Inaugural AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award winner Mr Chuck (Charles) Feeney AC is remembered for his significant contributions to Australia’s medical research and life sciences sector after passing away aged 92.

The American businessman who dedicated his later life to quietly giving away his $8 billion fortune is being remembered by Australia’s bioscience community for his transformational impact on the life sciences ecosystem, having donated about $550 million to Australian organisations during his lifetime.

Under Chuck’s ‘Giving While Living’ philosophy, donations from his foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, helped deliver more than 20 outstanding research facilities across Australia.

The University of Queensland (UQ) says his donations of more than $100 million helped establish UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), Queensland Brain Institute (QBI), the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN), UQ’s Centre for Clinical Research, the Frazer Institute, the UQ Centre and UQ Art Museum.

Other Australian institutes to benefit from Chuck’s contributions include The Kirby Institute - University of NSW, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, The Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, The Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital International, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, The Bio21 Institute, The Queensland Head and Neck Cancer Centre at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, The Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology, The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Stroke Unit, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and the Translational Research Institute.

Thanks to Chuck’s support, these institutes have made world-leading discoveries in vaccine development, dementia, heart disease and motor neurone disease, and their research will continue to make a profound difference for the foreseeable future.

Chuck received the inaugural AusBiotech Life Sciences Legacy Award at the 2019 AusBiotech and Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Awards in recognition of his “tremendous and unprecedented support of the Australian life sciences ecosystem across many decades”. The award was accepted by Dr Dave Kennedy, Founder,, on Chuck’s behalf.

At the time of the Awards, Hon Peter Beattie AC, Former Premier of Queensland, said, "The partnership my government's Smart State strategy enjoyed with Chuck Feeney reshaped biotechnology research in Queensland. The legacy of his investments left world class research institutions producing outcomes which are savings lives. His selfless philanthropic investments are the largest in Australian history. He was one of the most inspirational people I have ever worked with."

Chuck was appointed an Honorary Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia for his services to Australian health, research and higher education.