April 29 2024

CEO Update April 2024

By The Ian Potter Foundation

Two men in suits facing camera
Charles Goode AC (left) and Craig Drummond

This update marks the beginning of a new era for the Foundation with Craig Drummond's recent appointment as Chairman. We welcome Craig to this position and acknowledge Charles Goode's incredible 37 years of dedicated service to the Foundation and the broader philanthropic sector in Australia.

Few cultural, scientific, or public institutions in our country have not engaged with Charles Goode during his tenure as Chairman of the Foundation.

Craig Drummond offered his own personal thanks, saying, "Charles Goode has made an extraordinary contribution to the Australian community as Chairman of one of this country's oldest philanthropic foundations. I have greatly admired Charles and sought his counsel over many years."

In welcoming Craig Drummond to the role of Chair, Charles Goode said, "I am extremely proud of everything the Foundation has accomplished during my time as Governor and Chairman. It has been a privilege to work with such a wide range of organisations in our society, witnessing the rise of so many leaders across our cultural, health research and social sectors and the development of institutions that so excellently serve our community and help us all to reach our potential."

One of these organisations is Arts Centre Melbourne, which recently announced The Ian Potter Foundation's $15 million contribution towards refurbishing the State Theatre as part of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Transformation. This is the single largest philanthropic donation to an Australian performing arts centre to date and brings the Foundation's relationship with Arts Centre Melbourne full circle.

Many will be aware that Sir Ian Potter was one of the founding members of the National Art Gallery and Cultural Centre Building Committee, formed in 1957 to plan and deliver what would become the National Gallery of Victoria and Arts Centre Melbourne.

From its inception in 1964, The Ian Potter Foundation became a frequent contributor to the Arts Centre building project, donating the equivalent of $1 million between 1964 and 1976 to help ensure the project stayed afloat.

Sir Ian understood the importance of a vibrant arts and cultural scene to a cohesive and egalitarian society. One in which every Australian might benefit from access to outstanding cultural institutions supporting creative artists to produce contemporary, relevant art.

In the latest funding round, the Board awarded $3 million to Good360 for capacity building as the organisation embarks on a growth strategy focused on redistributing $1 billion in unsold goods to charities by 2030. Similarly, the Australian Land Conservation Alliance was awarded $2 million for capacity building to enable it to achieve its 2030 Strategy to increase investment in nature conservation on private lands. Both organisations are embarking on periods of significant growth to support their respective achieve significant waste reduction and nature conservation targets.

In this round, the Board also approved a $300,000 grant for the Wilya Janta project, an innovative Aboriginal cultural housing design initiative established by Indigenous and non-Indigenous founders. Wilya Janta aims to re-invent the remote housing design and construction process, putting the tenant at the centre of the design process to build culturally appropriate homes. The Foundation is supporting Wilya Janta's Tennant Creek Pilot, which comprises two demonstration homes to be built using competitive and innovative construction processes. This is combined with local knowledge of climate-resilient and culturally appropriate design. offering remote housing innovation, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. This initiative is an extraordinary opportunity to influence future infrastructure policy to ensure remote housing is fit-for-purpose and financially and environmentally viable.

We are also pleased to announce a $2.5 million major grant to the Menzies School of Health Research for the Building the Local Health Workforce in the Northern Territory initiative. This grant was nominally awarded in April 2023, subject to further funding being obtained. The Menzies School of Health Research has now confirmed it has obtained the necessary additional funding.

More details on these grants can be found in our Grants Round-Up.

Lastly, I wish to introduce a new staff member, Coral East, to the Administration & HR Manager role. Coral joined us in March, taking over from Gail Lewry, who retired after 17 years at the Foundation. We thank Gail for her contribution to the Foundation during a time of significant growth and development.