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Impact of our donors

Alumnus Dmitri Potishko supports vulnerable UNSW students during COVID-19


UNSW alumnus and board member of the UNSW Hong Kong Foundation, Dmitri Potishko (BSc '97, LLB '99), has donated $AU28,000 to the Student Emergency Response Fund (SERF).

Mr Potishko’s philanthropy will go directly towards assisting domestic and international UNSW students who are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. 

Dmitri Potishko, Head of
APAC Equities Trading
at Goldman Sachs

As a regular donor to UNSW and a firm believer of giving back, Mr Potishko, head of Equity Trading in Asia Pacific at US investment bank Goldman Sachs, recognises how critically important it is to support students during this time. “I’ve tried to give regularly over the years, but I felt that if there was ever a time to give, now is it” he says. 

SERF was established to help UNSW students who are facing significant uncertainty and financial insecurity due to COVID-19 restrictions and changes to the job market. The fund provides needs-based financial assistance as a lifeline for students to ensure their essential needs are met and they remain part of the UNSW academic community. 

Having migrated with his family from the Ukraine in 1992, and arriving in Australia with very little, Mr Potishko says he feels very fortunate to have received support from UNSW during his own time of need. 

“When I was 16, I was lucky enough to receive early admission to UNSW, which took me straight from year 11 to university. Throughout my time at the University, I received some merit scholarships, which relieved a lot of pressure by helping me afford basics” he says. 

Reflecting on his early years as a student at UNSW, Mr Potishko says he derives great satisfaction from supporting current and future students to pursue a university degree. 

“I know first-hand how profoundly liberating an education and scholarship can be. Initially, I directed my gifts to high achievers with low social economic backgrounds, but now I give more broadly to support people with all different kinds of needs—knowing that I have made just a marginal difference in someone’s life is really satisfying”. 

An investment like Mr Potishko’s will enable UNSW to supply at-risk students with a variety of support packages. This includes $200 supermarket e-vouchers as needed, $500 emergency support grants for disadvantaged students, as well as grants valued at up to $2,000 for students with complex needs such as housing issues, disability or carer requirements.  

You too can join Mr Potishko in supporting over 9,000 domestic and international students doing it tough during the pandemic. 

SERF was established by UNSW as part of a two-part action plan to change the course of COVID-19. Learn more about these initiatives and how to support them.