A retired Western Australian farmer has bequeathed nearly $1 million to fund research at Murdoch University.
Mr Robert Keith Hammond, affectionately known as Bob, passed away in January 2012 at the age of 75.
“This is the largest single bequest the University has received, and is a fine example of how one person’s gift can make a real difference to so many people,” said Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Higgott.
The funds will be used to support ‘research into mutually advantageous or mutually exploitative relationships between humans and other species of animal’.
Born into a farming family, Mr Hammond spent his youth in regional Western Australia, going to school in Beacon, Bencubbin, Esperance and Mount Helena before finishing his education at the WA College of Agriculture in Narrogin.
At the age of 18, he was granted a licence to agist sheep on crown land, later establishing his own farm
north-west of Beacon. In his later years, Mr Hammond enjoyed a quiet life in the Perth suburb of Guildford.
He was known for his love of reading and passion for learning. During his lifetime, Mr Hammond
contributed nearly $350,000 for a number of ‘studentships’ to fund research projects undertaken by students.
Murdoch University researcher Dr Hugh Finn received one of these studentships during his PhD studies.
The funds were used to investigate the conservation biology of bottlenose dolphins in Perth metropolitan waters.
In his 2005 thesis, Dr Finn expressed special thanks to Bob Hammond ‘for his generous support and interest in the research.’
In addition to being generous with his money, Mr Hammond was also generous with his time. He volunteered for the Swan Guildford Historical Society, was an active birdwatcher and conservationist, and supported several environmental groups.
Mr Hammond’s bequest will be used to establish the Robert Hammond Scholarship and the Robert Hammond Research Grant.
To learn more about leaving a gift to Murdoch University in your will, click here or call Kristin Mannix,
Development and Planned Giving Officer, on (08) 9360 7294.