Policy, Research, Grants & International

Establishing the AAG Research Trust

In July 2016 AAG received notification from the Executor of the estate of William Peter Steele Nicolson, that he had made a bequest of over $1 million dollars to the Australian Association of Gerontology. Mr Nicholson came from Roseville, NSW and was active in the community.  His wish was that the fund be used to further research in ageing. This is the largest bequest to date received by AAG.

Following pro bono legal advice from Herbert Smith Freehills, the AAG Board approved the setting up of a separate entity called the Australian Association of Gerontology Research Trust (AAG Research Trust). In line with Mr Nicolson’s wishes, the focus of the AAG Research Trust is to support funding into ageing research.

The AAG Research Trust was structured as a public ancillary fund with deductible gift recipient two status, which means that all donations of $2 and over are tax deductible. AAG is the Corporate Trustee of the AAG Research Trust, and as such the AAG board has separate responsibilities to meet the requirements set down in the Trust Deed of the AAG Research Trust.  As directors of the corporate trustee of the AAG Research Trust, they have separate meetings to discuss AAG Research Trust’s governance issues and have developed an AAG Research Trust Purpose and Strategic Drivers 2020-2023.

AAG Research Trust receives tax deductible donations and is the grant giving arm of the Australian Association of Gerontology.

The first meeting of the directors of the corporate trustee was held on Saturday 5 November 2016 and there are now regular meetings scheduled per year, that run immediately prior or post AAG Board meetings. The Trust has a similar shared arrangement with the Financial Audit and Risk Management (FARM) Committee of the Board. The Trust has been registered with the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission. The Chair of the directors of the corporate trustee of the AAG Research Trust provides an update on its work as an adjunct to the AAG annual general meeting which is held at the AAG Conference in November.

In June 2017 AAG approved the move of $454,000 funds of the RM Gibson Research Fund (previously held within a separate account within AAG) into the Australian Association of Gerontology Research Trust as a separate program called the RM Gibson Research Fund. The RM Gibson Research Fund is continuing to be used for the same purposes as it has in the past, namely providing support to early researchers to further their careers in gerontological research through the distribution of annual grants for cutting edge research projects.

In June 2018 the directors of the corporate trustee of the AAG Research Trust approved the investment strategy, disbursement strategy and a new program called the Strategic Research Grants (now called the Strategic Innovation Program) of the AAG Research Trust made possible through the Nicolson bequest. The first funding round for the Strategic Innovation Program commenced in August 2018.

Special thanks to William Peter Steele Nicolson who made this very generous bequest, supported by the executor of his Estate and Herbert Smith Freehills.

In April 2019, the AAG Research Trust received a donation of $730,000 to support the establishment of the Hal Kendig Research Development Program from the family of Emeritus Professor Kendig, who passed away in June 2018. Professor Kendig was a leader and a powerful influence in shaping a national and international discourse on ageing, as well as a great advocate for the needs of older people. Hal was an Honorary Life Member of AAG. This Program reflects Hal's many outstanding contributions as well as his wish to continue to support early career researchers in their pursuit of research excellence. The inaugural funding round of the Hal Kendig Research Development Program opened in June 2019. For more information click here

Special thanks to the Kendig family for their extraordinarily generous gift, especially Wendy Kendig, Hal’s wife, and their children.

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