Founded by Sir William (Bill) Tyree and his family in the early 1970’s, the Tyree Foundation has been an active philanthropic organisation operating in Australia right up to the current day. The Tyree Foundation donated $1million dollars to form Medicheck, the first multi-phasic health screening centre in Australia.
The incorporation of Medicheck was followed in 1978 by a $500,000 donation to the Sydney Square Diagnostic Breast Clinic, a multi-disciplinary centre for the diagnosis of breast cancer, a world first. The Tyree Foundation also established the Chair of Otolaryngology at the University of Sydney, which merged engineering expertise with medicine to treat deafness, which paved the way for the later development of the world’s first bionic ear.
In its current form the Tyree Foundation is a deductible gift recipient (DGR), being a charitable organisation set up under the guidelines for a private ancillary fund (PAF).
Under the guidelines the Tyree Foundation can receive donations from any individual or entity but cannot solicit for such. The vast majority of the donations received will therefore come from sources related to the founder of the Tyree Foundation, the largest source being the Tyree Group of Companies which comprises Tyree Transformers, Tycab Australia and Tycab NZ.
The Tyree Foundation therefore receives the majority of its donations from the Tyree Group of Companies whose charter requires that that the Group donates up to 50% of its trading profits to the Tyree Foundation, with the balance of the profits held for reinvestment into the long term growth of the businesses of the Tyree Group.
This unique business model ensures the Tyree Group businesses operate in the most efficient manner so as to:
- Continue the Tyree legacy of operating high technology manufacturing businesses within Australia;
- To fund investments into sustainable business growth; and
- To ensure the availability of funds to donate to the Tyree Foundation.
The Tyree Foundation is governed by a board of trustees which is made up of Tyree family members and independent persons with extensive experience in the Medical, Legal and Financial sectors. The Tyree Foundation charter ensures the trustees are obliged to operate in strict adherence to the PAF guidelines, important principles followed are:
- The Foundation is a not-for-profit entity;
- The Fund must be philanthropic in character and act as a vehicle for private philanthropy;
- It must be established and operated in Australia;
- Donations can only be made to organisations that have been granted DGR status.
The Tyree Foundation’s defining purpose is to assist the general community in Australia. This assistance will be provided by:
- Advancing health through the payment or application of the Trust Fund to ‘Eligible Entities’ engaged in the prevention, research and relief of sickness, disease or human suffering;
- Advancing education by the payment or application of the Trust Fund to ‘Eligible Entities’ that support education, through the provision of prizes and scholarships and other donations that will enhance an educational establishment’s capacity to provide educational services;
- Supporting other purposes beneficial to the general public and analogous to other charitable purposes.
The Tyree Foundation has a long history of philanthropic activity including;
- Medicheck – the first multi-phasic health screening centre in Australia;
- Sydney Square Diagnostic Breast Clinic;
- Chair of Otolaryngology at USYD which paved the way to the development of the world’s first bionic ear;
- UNSW Tyree Energy Technologies Building;
- USyd Power Laboratory;
- Challenge House (Mittagong NSW) – a transitional living facility to enable disabled adults to adapt to independent living;
- UNSW/ USYD Microgrid & SWER network research;
- Tyree Foundation Institute of Health Engineering – iHealthe Institute www.ihealthe.unsw.edu.au
- Sir William Tyree Scholarships supporting undergraduate students studying at universities including University of Wollongong, University of Newcastle, University of South Australia, University of Queensland, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Curtin University and University of Tasmania.
- Numerous donations to various hospitals, medical research projects and other benevolent causes.