Ian Potter Foundation makes $10 million donation

The Ian Potter Concert HallMonash University today officially thanked The Ian Potter Foundation for the $10 million philanthropic grant to the planned new building for the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music. 

The grant is one of the largest ever made by the Foundation. 

In recognition of the grant, Monash will name the building’s 800-seat performance venue ‘The Ian Potter Concert Hall’. 

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ed Byrne AO said Monash is really grateful to Lady Potter AC, Dr Charles Goode AC and the Foundation Governors for this $10 million grant. 

“Music and the performing arts are essential to the cultural fabric of any society,” Professor Byrne said.

“This grant from The Ian Potter Foundation will help Monash achieve its vision to transform the University’s Clayton campus into an alternative cultural epicentre for greater Melbourne, particularly the south-east. It will provide access to a state-of-the-art musical and artistic performance hub.” 

The iconic new building for the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music is being designed by internationally renowned architect Mr Moshe Safdie. 

Lady Potter AC, Life Governor of The Ian Potter Foundation said she believed the grant fitted very well with the philanthropic vision of her late husband, Sir Ian Potter. 

“Ian had a keen interest in supporting the development of Australian cultural life and a lifelong interest in the arts. I am delighted this grant will not only help educate our country’s future musical leaders, but will also create a dynamic new performance venue for the benefit of the community,” Lady Potter said.  

“I am so pleased to have played a part in bringing together two great organisations – Monash University and The Ian Potter Foundation. 

“I am also delighted that Ian’s legacy can honour my dear friend the late Sir Zelman Cowen, who was a great supporter and advocate of the arts.” 

Dr Charles Goode AC, Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Ian Potter Foundation, said this major grant reflects the Foundation’s commitment to supporting a vibrant and thriving Arts sector. 

“Monash University’s vision to foster outstanding Australian musicians is one we are proud to share, and we have no doubt this new world-class precinct for the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music will bring transformative opportunities not only to Monash University and its students, but also to the broader community,” Dr Goode said. 

The Monash University School of Music’s vision is to expand the heart of Australia’s cultural capital, through the transformation of our Clayton campus into an alternative cultural precinct for greater Melbourne. The proposed building will enable students, staff and especially the wider community of the expanding south-east of Melbourne to experience and enjoy music and the performing arts. The concert hall, jazz club, amphitheatre and other superb performance spaces will rapidly become loved community assets, available for cultural groups, schools and the many other community organisations.