Article from 2021/2022 Impact of Giving Annual Report
As a member of the RCH Foundation Board for over 20 years, including the last 10 as Chairman, Peter Yates AM has played an integral role in supporting the future of children’s health. And now, even as Peter steps down from the Board, his impact within the hospital will continue well into the future through the Peter and Susan Yates Endowment.
A successful businessman and passionate philanthropist, Peter’s long-standing relationship with the RCH Foundation began in 2001 when he first joined the board as a Director at the invitation of Barry Novy OAM, who was Chairman of the RCH Foundation at the time.
“I’d met Barry through a shared alumni event organised by the Melbourne Stanford Business School, Wharton Business School and London School of Economics Alumni Associates . Bill Conn had just stepped down as Board member, and Barry wanted an investment banker to replace Bill. At the time, I was an Executive Director at Macquarie Bank, and I had also worked closely with Laurie Cox, who was Chairman of the MCRI, and he encouraged me to join the RCH Foundation Board,” said Peter.
Since 2001, Peter has been instrumental in advancing outcomes for the RCH Foundation both as a philanthropic body, as well as significantly expanding the impact of community generosity in advancing health outcomes for children globally. He played a key role in the establishment of the Grants Committee and the development of the rigorous granting program.
He also helped establish the RCH Foundation’s Investment Committee, implementing a model of management which elevated the philanthropic impact of our community, enabling the RCH Foundation to fund bigger and more impactful projects both now and into the future.
In the June 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Peter was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for service to education, to the financial services industry and to a range of arts, science and charitable organisations, including the RCH Foundation. In 2012, Peter became Chairman of the RCH Foundation Board, a position he held
for 10 years before retiring in 2022.
Outside his commitment to the Board, Peter has been a proud philanthropic supporter of the RCH Foundation for many years. As well as being a member of the RCH1000, Peter has supported the Leadership Circle and is a member of the 1870 Society, having committed to leave a gift in his Will. Most recently, Peter has set up an endowment fund which will help support clinician scientists at the RCH.
“Philanthropy has helped shaped the RCH into the world leading institution it is today. Over the past 20 years, one program in particular has struck a chord with me – the Clinician Scientist Fellowship program. Through this program, our clinicians, with the support of both the hospital and the MCRI, can drive down the time it takes to get a research idea into clinical care,” said Peter.
The program supports over 20 fellows each year, with the outcomes of their research making a remarkable impact directly on patient care at the RCH. It is this impact that encouraged Peter and his wife Susan to invest in the future of children’s health and set up The Peter and Susan Yates Endowment, which will support an annual Clinician
Scientist position at the RCH, allowing for protected research time for some of the hospital’s brightest minds.
“Research is so important in the advancement of medicine, which is why we need clinician researchers to not only identify the big clinical challenges, but to help solve them,” said Peter.
“My experience is that in science, the intersection between research and practise, whether clinical as in a hospital or commercial as in a business, is the hardest thing to do and due to various rules regarding funding, has the least financial support.”
“That is why I am thrilled to be able to support the future of the RCH through this endowment fund, and I look forward to further contributing to it both during and after my lifetime. My vision is to eventually create a multimillion dollar endowment fund to support these fellowships and I hope others in the RCH community will join me by donating to this endowment fund. It is my hope that through this fund, clinicians will be able to discover new ways to better care for patients now and into the future.” he added.