In 2010 Dr Ian Dicker AM and his family decided to honour Ian’s late wife Barbara Dicker in a truly remarkable way by establishing the Barbara Dicker Brain Sciences Foundation (BDBSF).
The BDBSF supports research at Swinburne that focuses on enhancing the wellbeing of people affected by neurological and psychological disorders.
As a successful entrepreneur and former President of the Hawthorn Football Club, Ian’s passion for people and the community runs deep. Armed with a desire to invest in long-term change and help others facing similar battles as his late wife did, Ian turned to philanthropy to make the difference.
'We were keen to look at supporting research in a meaningful way. After a discussion with several institutions, we felt that Swinburne was more innovative in their approach,' says Ian’s son and Chair of the BDBSF, Dr Tony Dicker.
'Since its inception, the Foundation has generously supported applied research in brain and psychological sciences, with a view to helping diagnose, treat and prevent depression and related mental health conditions, sleep disorders, and dementia,' says Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Linda Kristjanson AO.
'The ultimate goal is to find a cure, treatment or prevention for these conditions,' she says.
Approximately 20% of adults are affected by adverse mental health problems every year. With the added stress of the coronavirus outbreak, Swinburne is more committed than ever to delivering positive outcomes to individuals and communities affected by depression, dementia, and sleep disorders.
To facilitate the engagement of world-leaders in brain science research, an annual Barbara Dicker Oration is delivered at Swinburne, profiling inspiring work by leading mental health researchers and academics.
'Our partnership with the Barbara Dicker Brain Sciences Foundation exemplifies a strong mutual commitment as we forge ahead together in a deliberate and concerted effort to find cures, treatments and preventions for these conditions,’ says Swinburne’s Director of the Iverson Health Innovation Institute, Professor Gavin Lambert.