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Mystery Donor is Canberra’s newest hero

By Barcham - 15 November 2013 11

ANU

One single super awesome and presumably amazingly good looking donor just donated $1 million to the ANU to improve language studies there.

So is our donor a believer in shared language breaking down the barriers between race and has given this money as part of a goal to bring people together and end all war, or did they see a particularly sad student one night upset that the one obscure language they wanted to learn was not available at the ANU and decide to do something about it.

Maybe they don’t speak English very well, and figure they can help the rest of Australia understand them!

So many theories!

These endowments will provide financial assistance to students studying the language, support teaching and research by academics in the humanities and social sciences and provide funds for additional casual teaching and academic staff.

“The teaching of languages is so important and as Australia’s national university we have a responsibility to uphold areas of national significance,” says Professor Young.

“This anonymous donation will help us do that, and I thank the donor on behalf of the entire University community for this gift and the impact it will have.”

Professor the Honourable Gareth Evans AC QC, ANU Chancellor, highlighted the philanthropic culture developing at ANU.

“This year has been a watershed year for philanthropy at ANU,” he said.

“This year alone, the ANU Endowment for Excellence has received 1,800 gifts from 1,048 donors and a total exceeding $11 million in funds raised. The trajectory of donations is up and a strong and promising culture of philanthropy at ANU is emerging.”

[Image from ANU News]

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11 Responses to
Mystery Donor is Canberra’s newest hero
McSomething 2:39 am 16 Nov 13

ainsliebraddon said :

The donation is to improve Portuguese and Russian!!! How is Portuguese useful for Australia?

Brazil is the 5th most populous nation in the world. The official language is Portuguese.

East Timor is also lists Portuguese as one of its official languages, as do several African nations including Angola and Mozambique.

Portugal may be small, but like a couple of other small European nations (such as Britain and the Netherlands), it had colonies across the globe.

Knowledge of Portuguese is not only useful for understanding the culture and history of Portugal, but also for understanding the culture and history of all those former colonies.

On a more pragmatic level, it would be helpful for anyone wishing to work or travel in any of the countries where Portuguese is spoken.

gungsuperstar 9:20 pm 15 Nov 13

ainsliebraddon said :

The donation is to improve Portuguese and Russian!!! How is Portugeuse useful for Australia?

I take your point.

I like Nandos as much as the next person, but it doesn’t make me want to speak the language. Same with vodka.

Pitchka said :

Could be used to help the asians attending the uni learn how to speak english…

Nice bit of racism thrown in there, congratulations.

Grrrr 4:19 pm 15 Nov 13

Sigh .. “Portuguese”

Grrrr 4:17 pm 15 Nov 13

ainsliebraddon said :

The donation is to improve Portuguese and Russian!!! How is Portugeuse useful for Australia?

So Portugese is useless to Australians, but Russian isn’t?

I guess you weren’t aware that Portuegese / Austronesian is spoken by some of our closest neighbours quite widely.

maxblues 3:19 pm 15 Nov 13

For any academic at a loose end wanting to get a grant to study the Angolan Civil War…the Portuguese (mostly former colonists) fought (for free) on the side of the FNLA (referred to by the British mercenaries as ‘porks’). On the opposing side was the MPLA who used a lot of Russian weapons (up to tanks), and had some Russian ‘advisers’ embedded (although most were Cubans).
Not relevant, and to complicate matters, there was a third force, UNITA (backed by the South Africans) loosely in alliance with the FNLA.
I recommend a book titled Fire Power by former mercenaries Chris Dempster and Dave Tomkins which highlights the unfortunate end that comes to common soldiers being manipulated by politics.

Mark of Sydney 3:09 pm 15 Nov 13

While not as important to us as the other two BRIC countries, Brazil and Russia are both emerging powers so it makes sense we have some teaching capacity in their languages.

Pitchka 3:07 pm 15 Nov 13

Could be used to help the asians attending the uni learn how to speak english…

poetix 3:02 pm 15 Nov 13

Deref said :

ainsliebraddon said :

The donation is to improve Portuguese and Russian!!! How is Portugeuse useful for Australia?

Learning any foreign language is useful for Australia.

May the FSM touch that man with His Noodley Appendage.

Could be a woman.

poetix 2:56 pm 15 Nov 13

ainsliebraddon said :

The donation is to improve Portuguese and Russian!!! How is Portugeuse useful for Australia?

Understanding other cultures and their literature is always a good thing in and of itself. It is very sad that people are so narrow-minded that they can’t seen the beauty of learning a language just so you can read in that language. Perhaps students will even reflect on English and realise that the use of three exclamation marks is tacky and excessive. I’m sure they’ll be able to spell Portuguese, too.

This gift also supports indigenous languages.

Deref 2:56 pm 15 Nov 13

ainsliebraddon said :

The donation is to improve Portuguese and Russian!!! How is Portugeuse useful for Australia?

Learning any foreign language is useful for Australia.

May the FSM touch that man with His Noodley Appendage.

ainsliebraddon 1:31 pm 15 Nov 13

The donation is to improve Portuguese and Russian!!! How is Portugeuse useful for Australia?

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