BHP Billiton donates $20 million to the Telethon Kids Institute

BHP has made a massive donation to help improve the health and wellbeing of kids in WA, kicking in $20 million for Telethon.

The money will be distributed over five years, with the first $4 million to kick-start Telethon on Saturday night.

More than $1 million a year will also be used to create a new program focused on Indigenous health issues in the Pilbara.

BHP Billiton’s iron ore boss Jimmy Wilson said the company was proud to support Telethon.

“Our contribution will fund more than 40 new research positions, as well as important studies into Aboriginal health, which could generate ground-breaking new research right here in WA,” Wilson said.

“I am excited about the potential our new partnership has to make a real difference in health outcomes for young people in this State and beyond for generations to come."  

Telethon Kids Institute Director, Professor Jonathan Carapetis, said the funding ensures Telethon Kids' new blueprint to make a tangible difference in the community would be realised.

"This very generous support will enable us to create the best environment for researchers to do their work and see it quickly translated into policy or clinical practice so that it really can make a difference to children's lives,” Carpapetis said.

"We want to accelerate the discovery process and concentrate our efforts on the really significant issues, diseases and disabilities that are affecting children and families here in WA and beyond."

Chairman of the Channel 7 Telethon Trust, Kerry Stokes said he was “thrilled” to have BHP on board.

“This is a most generous contribution to Telethon Kids Institute, and on behalf of Telethon I would like to thank everyone at BHP Billiton for their commitment to assist the people of Western Australia and importantly support the major research efforts funded by Telethon for the benefit of all Australians,” Stokes said.

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