Find out more about the Board of Governors and the staff of The Ian Potter Foundation
Governor since 1987, Chairman since 1994
Mr Charles Goode is the Chairman of the Australian United Investment Company Ltd, Diversified United Investment Ltd, and Flagstaff Partners. In February 2010 he retired as Chairman of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group; in July 2007 as Chairman of Woodside Petroleum Ltd after serving as a director for 19 years and as Chairman for 8 years.
Mr Goode was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in June 2001. In May 2003 he was a recipient of The Centenary Medal. He received the Melbourne Business School Award for 2006 and at the MBS Annual Alumni Dinner there is a Charles Goode Oration. He has been honoured as a Life Member of the National Gallery of Victoria, a Member of Foodbank Australia’s Hall of Fame, and a Life Member of Philanthropy Australia. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and received the A.I.C.D (Victorian Division) Distinguished Fellow Award for 2010 and in 2012 was Alumni of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award by the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne.
Governor since 2013
Tony Burgess is Chief Executive Officer of Flagstaff Partners, an independent corporate finance advisory firm.
Mr Burgess has over 30 years of experience in corporate finance in Melbourne, London and New York and was previously Global Co-Head of Mergers and Acquisitions for Deutsche Bank AG, based in London.
Mr Burgess holds an MBA (Distinction) from Harvard Business School (1985) and a Bachelor of Commerce (First Class Honours) from the University of Melbourne (1981). He is a Director of the listed investment company, Diversified United Investment Limited, a Director of Melbourne Business School Limited, Chairman of the Melbourne Foundation for Business and Economics, a Governor of The Ian Potter Foundation and a Director of the Board of Management of the Melbourne Theatre Company.
He is a member of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.
Governor since 2015
Susan Crennan was appointed to the High Court of Australia in November 2005. She had then served for almost two years as a judge on the Federal Court. Before appointment Susan Crennan was a barrister for 24 years, 14 of them as one of her Majesty’s Counsel (Queen’s Counsel). During that time she became Chair (now President) of the Victorian Bar Council, President of the Australian Bar Association and served as a Commonwealth Commissioner for Human Rights. She has been admitted as a barrister at King’s Inns Dublin and appointed as a Master of the Bench (Hon) of Gray’s Inn, London.
Following retirement from the High Court in 2015 she conducts private dispute resolution, chiefly in Victoria and New South Wales. She has been a member and chair of several committees of the Victorian Bar and the University of Melbourne, including serving as Deputy‑Chancellor of the University. In 2008 she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.
Governor since 2007
Governor since 1997
Graduating in law from Melbourne and Yale Universities, Sir Daryl Dawson was admitted to the Victorian Bar in 1957 and was appointed Queens Counsel in 1971. In 1974 he became Solicitor-General for the State of Victoria and in 1982 was appointed to the High Court of Australia. Following his retirement from the High Court in 1997, he engaged in commercial arbitration and was an adjunct professor at Monash University and a professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne. From 1998 until 2004 he was a non-permanent judge of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.
Governor since 2001
Sir James Gobbo was admitted to practice law in 1956 and after a year as a solicitor, went to the Bar where he practiced for 21 years. He took silk in 1971 and was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1978. He retired from the Court in 1994 and in 1997 was appointed Governor of Victoria.
Sir James has maintained a long interest in Italian Community affairs, as reflected in his former Presidency of Co.As.It. (Italian Assistance Organisation). Since 1975, Sir James has served on advisory bodies to the Federal Government in connection with Immigration and Refugee affairs. He was the Founding Chairman of the Australia Council of Multicultural Affairs in 1989.
Among his community commitments, Sir James has served on the Catholic Archdiocese Finance Advisory Council and was Chairman of Mercy Private Hospital, Chairman of the Council of Caritas Christi Hospital and Board Member of Mercy Maternity Hospital. Sir James was President of the Scout Association (Victoria) from 1987 to 1997. He has also served as Chairman of the Council of the National Library of Australia and of the Australian Multicultural Foundation. In 1990, Sir James co-founded the International Specialised Skills Institute.
Governor since 1990
Thomas William Healy graduated from the University of Melbourne B.Sc (1958) and M.Sc (1960) and Ph.D (1963) at Columbia University N.Y. USA in 1963. He returned to the University of Melbourne in 1965 as a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow and was appointed Professor of Physical Chemistry in 1978 and from 1991 as the inaugural Director of the Australian Research Council Special Research Centre.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering and a Foreign Fellow of the US Academy of Engineering. He received the Sir Eric Rideal Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry and the UK Society of Chemical Industry, the A E Alexander Lectureship of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, the Royal Society of Victoria Medal and the Ian Wark Medal of the Australian Academy of Science
He served as Dean of Science and as President of the Academic board and Pro-Vice Chancellor. He now holds the position of Professorial Fellow in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. His University conferred on him the Honorary D.Sc and the Honorary LLD degree.
Governor since 2013
Governor since 2004
Allan Myers is one of Her Majesty’s Counsel (Queen’s Counsel) in all States and Territories of Australia and a barrister in England and Papua New Guinea. For 40 years he has practised continuously as a barrister, principally in Victoria, although his professional work has led to appearances in all jurisdictions within Australia, Papua New Guinea and England. His practice has been predominantly in aspects of commercial law. He has frequently advised in relation to transactions under the laws of other countries.
Over many years Allan has provided support to professional and charitable entities by membership and chairmanship of committees and Foundations at the Victorian Bar, University Of Melbourne, Oxford University, Monivae College, Florey Neurosciences Institute, the National Gallery of Victoria and others.
Allan is Chair of the National Gallery of Australia, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and Grattan Institute.
In January 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal and, in June 2007, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.
Life Governor since 1993
Lady [Primrose] Potter has been an active supporter of the Australian arts sector over several decades. She was Founding Honorary Patron of the Melba Foundation and Founding Patron of the Victorian Opera Company and Patron-in-Chief of The Melbourne Opera Company. She has also served as director and Victorian Chairman of the Elizabethan Theatre Trust and founding director of the Bell Shakespeare Company, and Director of the Australian Ballet School. In the field of Contemporary Art, Lady Potter has been Patron of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, is current Patron of The Ian Potter Museum of Art at Melbourne University, Honorary Life Member of the National Gallery Victoria and was founding benefactor of the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Beyond the Arts, Lady Potter is a founding director of International Specialist Skills and of the Williamson Community Leadership Program (now Leadership Australia), as well as Fellow of the Institute of Directors.
Lady Potter was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia for her contribution to the community in 1988, followed by a Companion of the Order of Australian in 2003.
Governor since 1987
Graeme Ryan has held senior leadership roles in medical research, education and health care for forty years.
Following medical education at The University of Melbourne, he commenced his medical research career in the Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, as a PhD student and then Lecturer in Pathology. Between 1968 and 1976, he continued his research in experimental pathology, first in London, then Geneva and finally at Harvard Medical School, Boston. He returned to Australia in 1976 to establish an NHMRC Research Unit in Renal Disease in the Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne. In 1978, he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy and then Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in 1980. In 1986, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, a position that he held for ten years. At the University of Melbourne, he also held other senior appointments such as President of the Academic Board and Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He subsequently held senior appointments that enabled him to continue to promote medical research in the health care sector.
Governor since 2015
Brian Schmidt is a Laureate Fellow and Distinguished Professor at The Australian National University.Schmidt received undergraduate degrees in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Arizona in 1989,and completed his Astronomy Master's degree (1992) and PhD (1993) from Harvard University. Under his leadership, in 1998,the HighZ Supernova Search team made the startling discovery that the expansion rate of the Universe is accelerating, work that earned him the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, The United States Academy of Science, and the Royal Society, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.
Janet Hirst has been CEO of The Ian Potter Foundation, The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and The George Alexander Foundation, since December 2006.
Janet came to philanthropy after working in senior policy roles for the former Deputy Prime Minister, The Hon John Anderson AO, including National Transport Security Adviser and Social Policy Development Adviser. Janet played a key role in the establishment of the Regional Women's Advisory Council, which advised the Government on issues affecting communities in regional Australia, and was a member of the Regional Australia Summit Steering Committee, responsible for developing a plan for implementing outcomes from the Summit.
Janet is a member of the Indigenous Eye Health Advisory Committee and the Advisory Board of Melbourne Women’s Fund.
Janet is passionate about genuine collaboration within the philanthropic sector itself as well as with government and community groups, and is dedicated to contributing to the development of a positive and dynamic culture of philanthropy in Australia.
Dr Alberto Furlan manages the Medical Research, Education (large grants), Community Wellbeing and Health & Disability program areas. In this role, he administers the grant making of these areas and provides strategic advice to the Board around impactful partnerships with the not for profit sector.
After completing a degree in Philosophy at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice, Italy Alberto moved to Australia in 2001 to undertake doctoral studies in Anthropology at the University of Sydney. Alberto spent over five years in Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, first as academic fieldwork researcher and later as regional anthropologist employed by the Central Land Council in Tennant Creek working on the management and protection of sacred sites.
Alberto volunteers on the Board of The Social Studio, a Melbourne-based social enterprise comprising a fashion school, clothing label and a café which operates to create meaningful and long term social change for young people of migrant and refugee background facing barriers to employment and education.
Avalee joined the Foundation in 2008 in the newly-created role of Communications Manager. She has overall responsibility for planning, management and implementation of all the Foundation's communications including websites, annual reports, newsletters, events, social media and related PR activities.
She has worked as a communications strategist, practitioner, storyteller and copywriter for 25 years. Previous roles included director of Zing PR (Melbourne and Sydney), senior account director at Hausmann Communications (Sydney), and account director Munro & Forster (London) working with brands such as Hugo Boss, Levi Strauss, Bang & Olufsen, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and several Unilever brands, including Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.
In the 1990s, Avalee worked for The Body Shop as Communications Manager in Australia and later as Regional Communications Manager in The Body Shop’s International Communications team based in Littlehampton, England, developing international issue-related campaigns. She has a particular interest in the not-for-profit sector, especially corporate/NFP partnerships.
Louise Arkles joined the Foundation in February 2015 as Program Manager for Environment and Conservation, the Arts, and The Ian Potter Cultural Trust.
Louise has worked in philanthropy with individual donors and grant-making foundations for the past 15 years: at Philanthropy Australia, Australian Community Philanthropy and as an independent consultant. Over this time she has focused on sharing the history, the passion, the outcomes and the impact of people’s generosity, in order to raise the profile and effectiveness of philanthropy.
Louise has interviewed over 50 donors, written articles on giving trends, run workshops on seeking philanthropic grants, and edited 25 issues of Australian Philanthropy magazine. She believes that philanthropy is a two-way partnership between donors and ‘do-ers’, so mutual understanding and collaboration lies at the heart of it.
Louise began her career in that stalwart community resource, public libraries. After working in special libraries in industry and higher education, she gained a Master of Information Management looking at knowledge-sharing in zoos and their role in wildlife conservation. She created the first Australian library specializing in philanthropy at the national peak body in 2001, and has not looked back since.
Nicole McLeod started at the Foundation in March 2011 and is now currently a Program Manager responsible for managing and administering the grant making process for the Foundation’s Science and Education small grants programs, as well as managing The Alec Prentice Sewell Gift.
In addition to her role with The Ian Potter Foundation, Nicole also serves as a Program Manager for The George Alexander Foundation.
Nicole graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and International Studies) from the University of Melbourne and completed a Masters of Public Policy and Management, also at the University of Melbourne. Nicole has held a variety of part-time and volunteer positions during this time, which included volunteering with Oxfam and working for the Moonee Valley City Council as a Library Officer.
Nicole is passionate about doing work that makes a difference in the community. Her favourite part of the role is meeting grantees and scholarship recipients, and learning about the great work happening in communities around the country and the difference the Foundation’s support can make.
Dr Squirrel Main has conducted evaluations since 1996 for schools, outdoor education programs, the US Department of Education, childcare settings, homelessness programs. She is now the Foundation's first Research and Evaluation Officer.
An evaluator and a data analyst with a passion for measuring and improving outcomes across education, health and community wellbeing sectors, Squirrel completed her PhD at The University of Auckland. her research involved case studies and survey data (regression analysis) and investigated the teacher support systems in low-socioeconomic schools. Her Masters was at Stanford University in Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
Previously, Squirrel was a Senior Research Officer at the Brotherhood of St Laurence, her primary role was leading quantitative longitudinal data collection and analysis. Prior to working at the Brotherhood, she was a research assistant to Maxine McKew at the University of Melbourne investigating what makes good schools great. From 2011-2013, she was a research fellow on the E4Kids Project at the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education. She has also worked as an outdoor instructor for three years at the New Zealand Outward Bound School and began her career as a lead teacher in primary schools in California.
Cecilia is currently employed as a Program Officer at The Ian Potter Foundation. In this role, she works across all of the Foundation’s program areas, and she is primarily responsible for managing Conference and Travel grants. She is also involved in the administration of The Ian Potter Cultural Trust and the George Alexander Foundation.
Before joining the Foundation in 2014, Cecilia completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music and worked as a personal assistant.
Cecilia is passionate about improving disability support services and facilities. She is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies) at the Queensland University of Technology.
Sara joined the Foundation in 2015 to primarily develop and maintain the Foundation's websites and other digital media platforms. Her background includes working in online publishing in the higher education sector and providing digital services for the academic and corporate library sectors.
Sue has worked for The Ian Potter Foundation since 2007. After completing a Senior Secretarial diploma in 1979, Sue was recruited by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. She then moved on to a career within the oil industry before moving to an administration role with a small engineering company. Sue then took a 6 year career break while living in the UK and USA, before returning to Melbourne in 2006. Sue completed a Diploma in Visual Arts in 1996 and still continues to paint/create in her spare time.