About the Foundation


The McCusker Charitable Foundation has been established for charitable purposes aimed at improving health and education, with particular emphasis on Western Australia.

Key Objectives

The McCusker Charitable Foundation will consider all applications for assistance. However, priority will be given to projects related to:

  • Medical research and advancement of medical science.
  • Care, welfare and education of young people.
  • Promotion of high achievement and excellence.
  • Support for the aged and infirm.
  • Arts and Environment.
  • The Trustees are committed to encouraging greater philanthropy, volunteering and giving throughout Australia at all levels.


The McCusker Charitable Foundation has 4 Trustees:

The Hon Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC CitWA (Governor of Western Australia 2011-2014)

  • Born in Perth and educated at Perth Modern School.
  • Graduated from UWA Law School and admitted to practice in 1961.  He has appeared as counsel in the Supreme Court, Federal Court, High Court and Privy Council.
  • Part-time lecturer at University of WA (1963-1982) .
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel (1982).
  • Chairman, Legal Aid Commission of WA (1983-2011).
  • Special Inspector to investigate and report on Rothwell’s Bank collapse (1989-1990).
  • Chairman, WA Constitutional Committee (1993-1994).
  • Chairman,  Advisory Board WA Constitutional Centre (1997-2011).
  • WA Member,  Australian Constitutional Centenary Foundation (1998).
  • Inaugural Parliamentary Inspector, Corruption and Crime Commission (2004 - 2008).
  • Awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) (2005).
  • Awarded WA Citizen of the Year - Professions (2005).
  • Awarded Civil Justice Award (Australian Lawyers Alliance) (2007).
  • Awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Western Australia (2008).
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Murdoch University (2011).
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Edith Cowan University (2009).
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Zhejiang University.
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Curtin University.
  • Awarded WA Citizen of the Year - Community Service (2010).
  • Awarded WA Australian of the Year (2010).
  • Awarded Knight of St John (2011).
  • Awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AC) (2012).
  • Patron, McCusker Foundation for Alzheimer's Research, Ear Science Institute of Australia and many other organisations.
  • Extensively involved in the establishment of the Lady McCusker Home – providing 60 high care beds to Alzheimer’s patients and the Sir James McCusker Alzheimer’s Training Programme.
  • Board member, Martindale Agricultural Research Project – a joint project with UWA and the WA Agricultural Department and funded by the McCusker family.
  • Patron, Lion's Eye Institute fundraising campaign.
  • Life Member, Law Society of WA.
  • Director, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Minderoo Foundation.
  • Chairman, WA Health Translation Network

Carolyn McCusker

  • Carolyn, Malcolm’s sister, was born in Perth and educated at Perth College.
  • Graduated from UWA Law School in 1970.
  • Completed Diploma in Business Studies (with Distinction) from the London School of Foreign Trade.
  • Admitted to the Bar and joined McCusker & Harmer law firm becoming a partner.
  • Completed Bachelor of Arts at Australian National University in 1978.
  • Admitted to practice in the High Court Australia.
  • Worked as a Research Assistant at the Department of Social Service, Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Law Faculty at ANU.
  • Purchased restaurant and became chief cook and bottle-washer.
  • Worked for a number of years with her partner Alan Jordan (mining engineer) as an underground gold miner with hoist driver and shot-firer’s certificates.

Tonya McCusker AM

  • Tonya, wife of Malcolm, was born in New South Wales and educated at Applecross SHS and through the School of Isolated and Distance Education, WA.
  • Trained and danced in Monte Carlo and then with the Australian Ballet Company (1982-1989).
  • Graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Laws (1994).
  • Studied and worked in Hong Kong for 3 years.
  • Graduated from Henley Management College (UK) with Graduate Diploma in Management.
  • Worked with the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation as Business Development Manager.
  • Worked with the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce as Business Development Manager.
  • Advisory Board Member, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth.
  • Founder and Chair, Kids Who Give WA.
  • Awarded Dame of St John.
  • Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Curtin University.
  • Patron, Lion's Eye Institute fundraising campaign.
  • Patron, Fremantle Press, the University of Western Australia Hackett Foundation and other organisations.
  • Trustee, Channel 7 Telethon Trust.
  • Board Member, Minderoo Foundation, Celebrate WA and the Australian Ballet Foundation.
  • Ambassador for Children, WA Office for Children and Young People.
  • Administrator of the McCusker Charitable Foundation.
  • Awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AM) (2016).

Justice James Edelman

  • James, close friend and colleague of Malcolm, was born in Perth and educated at Scotch College.
  • Graduated from Murdoch (Commerce) and UWA Economics and Law (with First Class Honours and top Graduate) (1996).
  • Associate to Justice Toohey, High Court of Australia (1997-1998) and admitted to practice (1998).
  • Completed his Doctorate in Law at the University of Oxford in 2001 (Rhodes Scholar).
  • Barrister at the Chambers of Malcolm McCusker (2001-2011).
  • Acted as counsel in a number of important civil and criminal cases in Australia and the UK including junior counsel to Malcolm in the landmark High Court Appeal, pro bono, for Andrew Mallard.
  • Admitted to the Bar of England and Wales (2008-2011), member of One Essex Court Chambers, Chambers of Lord Grabiner QC (2009-2011).
  • Fellow of Keble College and Lecturer in Law (2005-2008); Professor of the Law of Obligations, University of Oxford (2008-present).
  • Conjoint Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales (2008-present) and University of Queensland (2015-present).
  • Former board member of charities including formerly trustee, Special Air Services Resources Trust; trustee, Charlie Perkins Foundation (UK), Rhodes Scholarship selection committee (WA).
  • Board member, editor or patron of law journals including Journal of Equity, Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal, Curtin Law and Tax Review.
  • Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia (2011-2015).
  • Justice of the Federal Court of Australia (2015 – present).


Latest News

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The McCusker Charitable Foundation will not be accepting any new applications for funding.

Tuesday, 07 Jun 16
The Foundation is currently supporting a large number of charities and and a number of ongoing medical and science-based projects. Consequently, we have made the decision not to accept any new requests for funding at this stage. Kind regards Tonya McCusker

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The McCusker Charitable Foundation distributed more than $5.5 million to charity in 2015-16.

Tuesday, 07 Jun 16
Some of the beneficiaries include: UWA, Curtin University, ECU, Murdoch University, Aurora Education Fdn, Asbestos Diseases Society Aust, Impact 100, FTI, McCusker Alzheimer?s Research Fdn, WAYJO, Black Swan State Theatre Co, National Stroke Fdn, AYO, WA Museum, Lifeline, Arthritis Fdn, WA Neuroscience Research Institute, Australian Olympic Committee Team Fund, SJOG Fdn, Ear Science Institute, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Amana Living and Princess Margaret Hospital Chair in Respiratory Health.

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We just love the work that Dr James Fitzpatrick, Telethon Kids, June Oscar, Maureen Carter and the team are doing at Fitzroy Valley!!

Monday, 01 Jun 15
Dr James (the one with the yellow paddle in hand) is one of those awe inspiring individuals who gets things done.

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