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:

Malcolm McCusker AO QC CitWA

  • 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) in Faculties of Commerce and Law.
  • Appointed Queen's Counsel 1982.
  • Chairman, Legal Aid Commission of WA (1983-present). (Longest serving Commission Chairman in Australia).
  • Special Inspector (1989-1990) to investigate and report on Rothwell’s Bank collapse.
  • Chairman WA Constitutional Committee (1993-94).
  • Chairman of the Advisory Board of WA Constitutional Centre (1997-present).
  • WA Member of the Australian Constitutional Centenary Foundation (1998).
  • Inaugural Parliamentary Inspector of the 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 in 2008.
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University, Edith Cowan University in 2009.
  • Patron McCusker Foundation for Alzheimer's Disease Research.
  • Patron, Landcare WA – a unique partnership between government and community involving more than 4000 volunteer community land care groups.
  • Patron of the WA Institute of Medical Research fundraising campaign.
  • Co-Patron of the Innocence Project WA.
  • Co-Patron of the St Mary’s Cathedral Appeal.
  • 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 of the Martindale Agricultural Research Project – a joint project with UWA and the WA Agricultural Department and funded by the McCusker family.
  • Chairman of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth Advisory Board.
  • Patron of the Lion's Eye Institute fundraising campaign.
  • Awarded WA Citizen of the Year (Community Service) 2010.
  • Awarded WA Australian of the Year 2010.
  • Governor-Designate of Western Australia to take office July 1, 2011.

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 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

  • Tonya, wife of Malcolm, was born in New South Wales and educated at Applecross SHS and through Distance Education.
  • Trained and danced in Monte Carlo and with the Australian Ballet Company from 1982-1989.
  • Graduated from UWA Law School in 1994.
  • 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.
  • Administrator of the McCusker Charitable Foundation.
  • Advisory Board Member of the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth.
  • Board Member of Giving West.
  • Patron of the Lion's Eye Institute fundraising campaign.
  • Patron of the University of Western Australia Hackett Foundation.

James Edelman

  • James, close friend and colleague of Malcolm, was born in Perth and educated at Scotch College.
  • Graduated from UWA Law School with First Class Honours in 1996 (Top Graduate).
  • Graduated from UWA, Bachelor of Economics in 1996.
  • Graduated from Murdoch University, Bachelor of Commerce in 1996.
  • Associate to Justice Toohey, High Court of Australia (1997-1998).
  • Admitted to practice law in 1998.
  • Completed his Doctorate in Law at the University of Oxford in 2000.
  • Barrister at the Chambers of Malcolm McCusker (2001-present).
  • 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-present).
  • Member of One Essex Court Chambers (2009-present).
  • Fellow of Keble College and Lecturer in Law at University of Oxford (2005-2008).
  • Professor of the Law of Obligations at the University of Oxford (2008-present) (youngest professor of law appointed at Oxford).
  • Conjoint Professor of Law at the University of New South Wales (2008).
  • To take office as Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia on July 22, 2011.


Latest News

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Tonya and Malcolm McCusker attending the opening of the Harry Perkins Institute with Chairman Mr Larry Iffla and Nicola Iffla

Thursday, 06 Mar 14
The McCusker Trustees were delighted to provide funding for the new Auditorium at the Harry Perkins Institute.

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Kids Who Give - An overwhelming success!

Friday, 24 Jan 14
In its inaugural year, more than 15,000 children were involved in the Kids Who Give WA program, and more than 100 schools actively participated in giving projects across Western Australia. Learning more about how these inspirational children were thinking about those in need was the highlight of the year for the McCusker Trustees.

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Helping Young Researchers Change Lives at Murdoch University

Thursday, 21 Mar 13
Malcolm and Tonya meet with researchers from Murdoch University for an update on their research progress

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