Donations have immediate impact for SVI scientists across all disciplines: funds are used in the same year to provide state-of-the-art equipment needed for research to flourish.

Joining SVI’s Catalyst Circle is your chance to lay the foundation for world-class research that will change lives.

You can help create the high-tech environment our researchers need to excel and to break new scientific ground.

If you are interested in joining the Catalyst Circle or in making an equipment-related donation, contact SVI Foundation: [email protected] or (03) 9231 2480.


Download our 2024 equipment brochure to see where your support is most needed.

A gift that will last forever

Jacinta Costello’s mum Alice was always focused on other people.

“We didn’t have much growing up,” says Jacinta, “My mum worked hard as a seamstress when my four siblings and I were younger. She wasn’t a frivolous person but was always generous when it came to giving to others. She never bought anything for herself.”

Thanks to a good financial advisor, Alice managed to make savings over the course of her later life that she was keen to use for the greater good.

“Mum had Alzheimer’s and passed away in 2007 from a fall at the age of 89. She made sure that the family was looked after, but she insisted that the rest of her estate was to go to charity and research, and she left my eldest brother Tony and me to look after two trusts that she had set up,” said Jacinta. “My son Simon had the foresight to say if we spent a dedicated amount each year, our mother’s legacy can go on forever.”

Jacinta’s mum specifically mentioned arthritis in her Will; most likely because her father suffered from osteoarthritis, and Jacinta added osteoporosis to their research investment strategy.

“I knew St Vincent’s Institute (SVI) as a reputable place that was really dedicated to doing good science and changing people’s lives. But what impressed me most was when I was invited to a tour at SVI to meet Dr Natalie Wee and see the work she is doing in bone disease. I thought, ‘This is great!’ – I knew I had found the right place to invest.”

After her tour, Jacinta made a commitment to fund a Rising Star Award for Natalie over the next three years, as well as an additional donation to fund equipment and software for SVI’s Bone Cell and Biology Lab, via SVI’s Catalyst Circle program.

Jacinta especially liked the synergy of investing in Natalie, as her mum ‘would’ve liked anything to do with women’ and supporting a female bone researcher strongly resonated with her because of her business.

“I started my business ‘Ladies Back On Your Bike’ nine years ago to help women learn how to literally get back to cycling (ride a bike.)  So many women are possible candidates for arthritis/osteoporosis; I see the importance of strong bones and the impact regular exercise has on them, both mentally and physically,” she says.

Jacinta and her siblings are confident their SVI investment ticks all the boxes their mother Alice would have wanted if she was still here and investing the money herself.

“She would know her money is being spent wisely,” said Jacinta.