AU$6m gift to boost equity at university’s medical school

A fatal collision with a car while cycling in Mount Waverley ended Damion Drapac’s medical career barely a year after it began. Damion, who was 30 when he died in 2019, had taken the long road to a career in medicine, going through the rigorous selection process for medical school three times in four years before finally being accepted, writes Adam Carey for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Middling marks in his first two years of university, while studying nutrition and dietetics at Monash, counted heavily against him, his father Michael Drapac said. “He was penalised for those two years,” Drapac said. “So many students are denied access to the course, not because they haven’t demonstrated vocational and empathetic suitability, but because they weren’t in the top 1% of academic students.”

Eventually Damion gained a place in Deakin University’s Doctor of Medicine course, and Drapac said he had never seen his son so driven and inspired to help others as in the months before his death. Drapac, a property investor, has just gifted Deakin University AU$6.1 million (US$4.1 million) – the largest donation in the university’s history – to establish a centre for advancing equity for aspiring medical students. The Damion Drapac Centre, as it will be named, will provide scholarships to medicine students from disadvantaged, diverse and regional backgrounds, groups typically under-represented in the medical professions.
Full report on the Sydney Morning Herald site