Living bequests – a gift from the heart
“A heartfelt gift” is the way living bequestor and UWA graduate, Dr John Harriott, describes his donation to establish a chair in mood disorders and a scholarship in psychiatry.
A bequest is a freely given gift that comes out of gratitude, without a sense of obligation. And it helps to make the world a more caring and joyful place.
The retired anaesthetist decided to fund the chair after his own experience of depression, one of the biggest causes of debilitation in Australia.
“Depression is a large burden on our society, and it can affect anyone. I have been there and it is a long road back,” says John.
Binu Jayawardena, a John Harriott Scholarship recipient, undertook a placement with the forensic psychiatry team at Welikada, Sri Lanka’s largest prison. He was awarded the Alan Charters Prize in 2015 for his report, “Incapacitated and incriminated: journey into the not-so-criminal mind.”
Although his bequest is a major donation, John insists that a bequest does not need to be millions of dollars.