Victoria’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is embroiled in a spat with one of its philanthropic donors over naming rights for facilities at its new hospital.
The Smorgon family, who donated $1.5 million to Peter Mac more than two decades ago, wants its name to accompany Peter Mac signage, according to emails obtained by the Herald Sun.
The cancer hospital is moving to the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre building in June.
“My suggestion is that the Smorgon name appear at the same location that the Peter Mac name appears,” Graham Smorgon wrote in an email to hospital management in July last year.
The emails were obtained by the Herald Sun under freedom of information laws.
It’s understood the Smorgon family and the hospital agreed it would refer to its main wing as the Smorgon Family Building after the family donated $1.5 million in 1994.
That agreement also stipulated that if the hospital were to move, it would name a new building after the Smorgons.
However, Mr Smorgon rejected an offer to name a 350-seat lecture theatre at the new hospital, saying the proposal was “not acceptable in any regard to the family”.
Hospital management have told Mr Smorgon they have no authority over naming rights linked to the Peter Mac signage at the entrance.
The centre says it values its relationship with the Smorgon family and is working closely with Mr Smorgon.
“Talks between Peter Mac and the Smorgon family are cordial, ongoing and progressing and there is no need for any legal action,” a Peter Mac spokesman said.
Peter Mac is Australia’s only public hospital dedicated solely to cancer treatment and research.