Australia’s largest philanthropic donation

A world-changing global health announcement.



After the world was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne was gifted a history-making $250 million from Canadian philanthropist and businessman, Geoff Cumming, to establish a new global research centre focused on therapeutic discoveries.

To date, this is the largest philanthropic donation to bio-medical research in Australia’s history.

The new centre, called the Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics will sit within Doherty with a vision to save millions of lives in the future.

Bastion Agency was hired to deliver a launch with worldwide impact, with a blank canvas for creativity. We were tasked to deliver a new brand identity, a communication strategy, and a media.



Bastion Reputation, Bastion Amplify and Bastion Creative carved up the brief to work seamlessly across divisions.

Bastion Reputation delivered a communications strategy that articulated the story of a generous donation coupled with the cutting-edge scientific discovery with real world impact. We also kept up to 30 stakeholders across University of Melbourne, Doherty and the Victorian Government aligned while building out the story.

Bastion Creative created a new brand identity that set the foundation for all visual communications, internally and externally. The result is a contemporary and striking design that is bold, stands for what it does, and captures the imagination of those who come in touch with the centre.

Bastion Amplify was tasked with the media strategy and delivery of a press conference with Vic Premier Dan Andrews, Prof Sharon Lewin and Geoff Cumming, that was widely attended by media, followed by a full day of one-to-one interviews.



The announcement made the headlines right across Australia and overseas reaching a very large number of people.

1 press conference with 10 media attendees, including political reporters
6 one-to-one follow-up interviews with general news media
2 live radio shows
250+ pieces of coverage within 24 hours – TV, radio, newspapers
17 million reach
Syndicated nationally and reaching international papers
Covered by all Australian TV networks

See featured articles below:

The Australian – Melbourne becomes Australias pandemic research capital after university gets $250m donation from Canadas Geoff Cumming

The Age – $250m donated for global pandemic research centre in Melbourne

Daily Mail – Global Research Centre for ‘next pandemic’

The New Daily – Record private donation funds VIC pandemic drugs centre


Bastion is a truly integrated, full-service marketing and communications agency founded in 2009. We are Australia’s largest independent agency, with an ambition to achieve the same feat in the USA.

We offer a wide breadth of specialist capabilities across the communications spectrum including market research, brand and creative, advertising, corporate and change communications, PR and social media, digital and customer experience (CX), sponsorship and experiential, film and content production, merchandise, Asia marketing and communications, data analytics and panel management.