Developing the Ma & Morley Scholarship Program at The University of Newcastle was quite a feat for the advancement team. Emily Cox tells the story of the complexities involved in coordinating this landmark philanthropic commitment.


In February 2017, The University of Newcastle (UON) and the Jack Ma Foundation announced a US$20 million philanthropic commitment to fund the Ma & Morley Scholarship Program at UON.

The Program aims to inspire, educate and cultivate the next generation of globally aware and socially conscious Australian leaders.

Named in honour of Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Novocastrian Ken Morley, whose unlikely friendship spanned many decades, the Program is based upon four core values that the two men held close: peace, de-militarisation  and cultural respect; equity and justice for all peoples; ethics in entrepreneurship and workers’ rights; and environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation.



An Australian business contact of Ma became aware of his close connection to Newcastle and his intention to make a positive impact on the city through philanthropy. This person got in touch with UON…

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