Dr William Wyatt and Mrs Julia Wyatt travelled from Plymouth, UK, arriving in Holdfast Bay, South Australia in February 1837.
During his life in Adelaide, Dr Wyatt held a significant number of official positions. He set up his home first in Grenfell Street and later at Kurralta, Burnside. His son, William, the only one of his five children to survive childhood, died in 1872 aged 34. Dr Wyatt’s wealth was derived from his purchase of land in the city and elsewhere in March 1837.
When he was in his seventies Dr Wyatt conceived the idea of forming a trust, and he wrote his Will in 1881, naming the first Governors of the Institution. Having witnessed some of the early South Australian settlers struggle through adversity and poverty, Dr Wyatt had made the decision to leave his estate for the benefit of South Australians in ‘poor or reduced circumstances’.
Dr Wyatt died in June 1886 and the first meeting of the Governors of The Wyatt Trust was held soon after, commencing a practice of making regular grants to assist individuals in need. The bequest of Dr Wyatt was valued at approximately £50,000 on his death and currently stand at around $90m with more than $50m having been distributed in grants.
As the Australian social welfare and philanthropic contexts have changed over the decades, The Wyatt Trust has also transformed, holding true to its core tenets but continually developing its grant making model to maximise the impact of Dr Wyatt’s legacy in contemporary South Australia.
The Wyatt Trust today focuses on improving opportunity and quality of life for South Australians experiencing hardship across four priority areas:
Increasing employment opportunities
Improving the retention of young people in education
Promoting financial wellbeing
Providing appropriate and sustainable housing options.
Working closely with a network of diverse partner organisations, The Wyatt Trust delivers an informed, innovative grants program assisting South Australians to participate in the community and live with dignity and hope.