Gifts & Bequests

Gifts & Bequests

In 1989 Michael Dark, the son of Eleanor and Dr Eric Dark, gifted Varuna to the Eleanor Dark Foundation as a peaceful retreat for Australian writers to work. Varuna is built on this spectacular spirit of generosity.

Help Varuna thrive

The Eleanor Dark Foundation at Varuna plays a central role in developing Australia literary culture by providing a unique environment for Australian poets, essayists, dramatists and authors to create new work.


We do this by identifying and supporting new and emerging Australian writers with stories to tell and words to inspire. We give them space, time and quietness, as well as the opportunity for rich conversation with their fellow writers, and then, at the right time, we bring their work to the attention of the publisher.

All at Varuna greatly appreciate the annual support we recieve from the NSW Ministry for the Arts and the Australia Council for the Arts. This support however accounts for less than 45% of the income we need to ensure our programs are affordable to outstanding writers from around Australia irrespective of their financial situation, engage with our local Blue Mountains community through events such as the annual Varuna-Sydney Writers Festival and maintain Varuna house and gardens.

The support we receive from individuals like you is vital in ensuring we are connected with our local community and maintaining Varuna as a quiet and reflective place where writers from around Australia can come to create extraordinary new work for you and future generations to enjoy.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible are gratefully received and will be directly reinvested into our fellowship, community and home maintenance programs.

If you would like to know more about the Eleanor Dark Foundation and our programs please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Varuna's Executive Director.



We acknowledge the gift to Australian literature in the life of Mick Dark, 14 February 1929 - 11 July 2015.


Please donate today