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The rich get richer as Terry Snow ponies up the cash for Grammar

By johnboy - 30 May 2013 52

The ABC has the thrilling news that Canberra Grammar is getting, on top of its enormous fees and government top ups, $8 million of Terry Snow’s money to ensure the ruling elite are well placed for the next generation:

Businessman Terry Snow has donated $8 million to his former school Canberra Grammar to build a new Asian century centre.

It is one of the largest single donations to an Australian school and will be spent on a new building for teaching Asian languages, geography, history, economics and culture.

Mr Snow says he was inspired by the vision of Canberra Grammar principal Justin Garrick to prepare students for Australia’s increasing engagement with the region.

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52 Responses to
The rich get richer as Terry Snow ponies up the cash for Grammar
c_c™ 4:33 pm 30 May 13

So there’s this phrase, effective altruism. I don’t think this comes close to being that.

harvyk1 4:30 pm 30 May 13

Heavs said :

I’d love to see if ACT Education has a policy on donations. Because I reckon if he had said ‘here is $8m and I want you to use it for this, this and this’ they would pop it into consolidated revenue and choose to do what they wanted with it anyway. “well we know you wanted an Asian Learning Centre at Narrabundah and Caroline Chisholm – but we think it would be money better spent to build a new classroom at our two new super schools instead. But thanks for the cash.”

There would be some sort of contract in place for sure that ensured that the donation went to where it was supposed to or the money went back to the person making the donation.

Turning around and saying “thanks for the donation, we’re however going to ignore your wishes” is a really good way of ensuring you never get donations again.

gazket 3:26 pm 30 May 13

what a fail. Go to any Asian news website and try find a story about whats happening in Australia. They are not interested in what happens here.

dtc 2:56 pm 30 May 13

Gungahlin Al said :

dtc said :

On the other hand, I don’t see too many public schools offering these kind of subjects; and any donation is better than hoarding (coughginacough); plus I feel a bit ‘mean’ criticising what someone else is doing with their own money.

Isn’t that a chicken–egg thing though?

I dont think so – plenty of public schools offer languages, just not Chinese. Plenty of schools offer history or geography, but not Asia focused (as I said, I went to CGS and even 20 years ago I was able to do a subject called ‘Asian Studies’). Whether this is because of the exam system, ACT education requirements or whatever, I don’t know.

On thinking about this further, I wonder whether a public school could actually accept a donation such as this. I’m sure there would be rules against it – esp if the donor wanted his name on it.

Heavs 2:38 pm 30 May 13

Gungahlin Al said :

He can put his money anywhere he wants. But this gets zero kudos from me. What would have impressed would have been pumping such funds into the most underprivileged school(s) in Canberra. Including places like Cranleigh.

Find the worst NAPLAN results in town (inc QBYN), and really bring about change…

dtc said :

On the other hand, I don’t see too many public schools offering these kind of subjects; and any donation is better than hoarding (coughginacough); plus I feel a bit ‘mean’ criticising what someone else is doing with their own money.

Isn’t that a chicken–egg thing though?

I’d love to see if ACT Education has a policy on donations. Because I reckon if he had said ‘here is $8m and I want you to use it for this, this and this’ they would pop it into consolidated revenue and choose to do what they wanted with it anyway. “well we know you wanted an Asian Learning Centre at Narrabundah and Caroline Chisholm – but we think it would be money better spent to build a new classroom at our two new super schools instead. But thanks for the cash.”

nsn 1:59 pm 30 May 13

Gungahlin Al said :

He can put his money anywhere he wants. But this gets zero kudos from me.

I doubt very much that Mr Snow was looking for kudos from you.

Skidd Marx 1:49 pm 30 May 13

All valid points, but at the end of the day it is a donation towards education and therefore not a bad thing.

dungfungus 12:39 pm 30 May 13

HiddenDragon said :

There are other people in Canberra with deep pockets (even if not quite as deep as Mr Snow), so perhaps one or more of them (particularly if a public school education was part of their path to success) might be inspired by this very worthy example to do something significant for public education.

Tax payers do significant things for public education every time they have tax deducted from their pay and our current government has contributed enourmously by building all those GFC inspired school halls on borrowed money which will be repaid by the taxpayer as well. That’s significant.

Gungahlin Al 12:34 pm 30 May 13

He can put his money anywhere he wants. But this gets zero kudos from me. What would have impressed would have been pumping such funds into the most underprivileged school(s) in Canberra. Including places like Cranleigh.

Find the worst NAPLAN results in town (inc QBYN), and really bring about change…

dtc said :

On the other hand, I don’t see too many public schools offering these kind of subjects; and any donation is better than hoarding (coughginacough); plus I feel a bit ‘mean’ criticising what someone else is doing with their own money.

Isn’t that a chicken–egg thing though?

HiddenDragon 12:18 pm 30 May 13

There are other people in Canberra with deep pockets (even if not quite as deep as Mr Snow), so perhaps one or more of them (particularly if a public school education was part of their path to success) might be inspired by this very worthy example to do something significant for public education.

dungfungus 11:53 am 30 May 13

The Asian Century concept being embraced by Mr Snow and CGS appears to be at odds with Canberra University’s outlook who are axing two Asian language programmes because of the withdrawal of some Federal funding to offset the cost of the Gonski scheme for primary and secondary schools.
At the same time, Canberra University have received a $21 million “loan” from the ACT Government to build more student accommodation an a $5 million grant to establish a “sports precinct”.
Long live “The Brumbie Century”.

EvanJames 10:59 am 30 May 13

FioBla said :

What about a cage fighting ring for Caroline Chisolm School?

Good suggestion, but a few chook raffles at teh Chisholm Tavern would probably be quicker.

dannybear 10:43 am 30 May 13

FioBla said :

What about a cage fighting ring for Caroline Chisolm School?

That’s what the amphitheatre is for!

FioBla 10:13 am 30 May 13

What about a cage fighting ring for Caroline Chisolm School?

dtc 10:06 am 30 May 13

Yes, its good to see Terry putting his money where his mouth is and donating to the rich….

(yes, yes, I know, people sacrifice to go to Grammar, not everyone is rich. Hey, I went there myself and know all about it. I also know that even 20 years ago the school had more resources than my kid’s public school has today).

Its kinda like how everyone in the US donates to Harvard or Yale. US writer Gregg Easterbrook has some good thoughts on why donating to rich schools is more to satisfy the ego of the donator than any need. see here http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/080930 and scroll down just more than 1/2 way to the bit headed ‘Stop Giving to Harvard’

Quote from that article

[i] For that matter, the bang-for-the-buck of donations is 10 times higher in the developing world. Carroll Bogert, Harvard ’83, is among the founders of Harvard Alumni for Social Action, which is urging the school’s alums to stop giving to Harvard and give instead to African schools such as University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. There, a “gift” is really a gift, since it serves the poor rather than the donor’s ego [/i]

On the other hand, I don’t see too many public schools offering these kind of subjects; and any donation is better than hoarding (coughginacough); plus I feel a bit ‘mean’ criticising what someone else is doing with their own money.

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