The Alfred Felton Chair of General Practice to assist Deakin University to address the shortage of GPs

11 December 2009

Deakin University's aim to tackle the severe shortage of general practitioners in rural and regional areas has received a boost with a donation that will allow it to establish its first named Chair - The Alfred Felton Chair of General Practice.

The position will be based at the Kardinia Health GP Super Clinic in South Geelong and at Deakin University's Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds.

The Chair will be funded through a philanthropic gift of $750,000 from the Felton Bequests' Committee.

The Chairman of The Felton Bequests' Committee, Sir Andrew Grimwade, said the Committee's decision to make the grant had been motivated by a commitment to improve the health of women and children in rural Victoria.

"Our strategic vision encompasses the establishment of a dedicated Chair of General Practice, which will train young doctors to work in this neglected and important part of our community.

"I am pleased that our latest Flagship Project is to be linked to Deakin University, which has a significant influence in rural areas and has the capacity to address this health need. We also hope that this funding will inspire future financial support for other Chairs."

Deakin University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Walker, said she was delighted that the funding has been approved.

"The Alfred Felton Chair of General Practice is Deakin University's first named Chair," she said.

"The establishment of the Chair is an important step towards addressing the severe shortage of general practitioners in Geelong and the surrounding region. This is a problem for the large numbers of young families moving into the area who require access to primary care services, particularly for the management of women's and children's health."

Dean of Deakin University's Faculty of Health, Medicine, Nursing and Behavioural Sciences, Professor John Catford, said that the announcement highlighted the importance Deakin places on partnerships.

Additional information

Founded in 1904, The Felton Bequest is Australia's first great philanthropic trust. For more than one hundred years, in accordance with the wishes of the Will of Alfred Felton, its income has been divided equally between two separate bequests. One half is to purchase works of art for donation to the National Gallery of Victoria; even today, this is the most valuable gift ever made to the fine arts in Australia. The other half is to make annual distributions to Victorian organisations, particularly those that benefit women and children. ANZ Trustees is the trustee of the Felton Bequest.


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Mandi O’Garretty
Media and Corporate Communications
03 52272776, 0418 361 890
Email Mandi

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