The bronze bust of a woman who donated one million pounds (in today's terms $40,000,000) to medical research at The University of Western Australia was unveiled in the University's Winthrop Hall today.
Created by renowned West Australian sculptor Robert Hitchcock, whose work can be seen in places such as Challenge Stadium and the Battye Library, the bust depicts Mary Raine, who came to Australia in 1900 when she was 23 with 100 pounds in her pocket and who died a millionaire. Mr Hitchcock created the bust using one black and white photograph of Mary Raine.
Born Mary Bertha Carter, she was the oldest of 12 children, ten of whom survived into adulthood. Her father was a London greengrocer. Her school days ended when she was 14 but she proved herself to be an astute businesswoman and she owned some of Perth's early hotels and landmarks including the Wentworth Hotel, the United Service Hotel and the Windsor Hotel.
When her husband, Joe Raine, died of a stroke, she was convinced that he could have been saved had medical expertise been more advanced. This conviction, and the advice of her friend and physician Dr Carl Georgeff, persuaded her to leave the bulk of her estate to the University for the establishment of a medical foundation. Hers is the biggest bequest to the University for medical research.
Mary Raine's biographer, Meg Sangster, said it was likely that if not today or tomorrow but at some time in the future every West Australian would benefit in some way from the generous legacy Mary Raine left the State in which she made her wealth.
UWA Chancellor, Dr Michael Chaney, who unveiled the bust, said Robert Hitchcock's sculpture symbolised the importance of generosity, altruism and philanthropy.
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716