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.


John Harriott

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.

John Harriott


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.


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