Midway Point resident grants $3 million to medical research

LONG-time Midway Point resident Alan Villiers Peacocke has willed an estimated $3 million to Murdoch University in Western Australia to support medical, health and agricultural research.

After supporting scholarships at Murdoch for almost 20-years, Mr Peacocke passed away in February last year at the age of 103.

Murdoch University’s acting vice chancellor, Professor Andrew Taggart, said Mr Peacocke was a great friend to the university.

“We are deeply saddened by Mr Peacocke’s passing and are honoured that he chose to continue his support for medical and agricultural research with a gift in his will,” he said.

“Mr Peacocke’s gift is the largest single bequest the University has received and we will carefully use it to support research that will benefit our community for generations to come.”

Mr Peacocke moved from Perth to Tasmania for the cooler climate and was well known for his passion for gardening.

He was also an active supporter of the community through the Causeway Club, the Midway Progress Association and the Sorell Gardening Club.

Mr Peacocke and his father shared an admiration for the writings of Sir Walter Murdoch, so when he inherited his sister’s estate he was inspired to contact Murdoch University to discuss the potential to support students and research.

In 1999, Mr Peacocke and Murdoch University established the Alan and Iris Peacocke Research Foundation to support doctoral research scholarships in the areas of agriculture, horticulture and medical research.

PhD student Coroline Nilson, who is the current recipient of the scholarship, said it was invaluable to her study.

“The Alan and Iris Peacocke scholarship not only enabled me to devote three years to full-time study but also allowed me to support an Aboriginal community to develop a community-owned and controlled health promotion program, which continues to run today,” she said.

“The flow-on effect of his support has mobilised and enabled the community to become proactive and self-determined and make changes for improved health and wellbeing.”

Over the past 20-years, Mr Peacocke has donated more than $300,000 to Murdoch to support PhD scholarships and the development of the Institute of Immunology and Infectious Diseases.

Murdoch University recently commemorated the life and generosity of Mr Peacocke by dedicating a garden to his memory.