A DESIRE not to "poison" his own children with wealth has led a businessman to pour a whopping $50 million into the education of strangers in the largest donation ever made to Australian university students.
Twenty-five undergraduates will score scholarships worth up to $100,000 each over the next five years - creating 125 scholarships all up over that time - thanks to a donation to Canberra's Australian National University from one of the country's most successful financial entrepreneurs.
The scholarships are set to run in perpetuity over the next 20 years.
Canberra-born Graham Tuckwell studied at ANU before his global successes led him to set up ETF Securities Limited, which issues exchange traded products and has about $30 billion in assets.
He said he and his wife Louise wanted to change lives and did not think it was sensible for parents to give vast amounts of money to their own children.
"Lots of money is poisonous to have," he said.
Mr Tuckwell said he hoped the gesture would inspire other wealthy Australians to consider philanthropy, rather than just passing their fortunes down.
"Generally speaking, if you look at the people in Australia that have got huge amounts of wealth, without naming any, they generally have not put the majority of their wealth behind strong philanthropic causes," he said.
"And unfortunately in some cases they pass the wealth down to later generations who have behaved badly.