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VFFF Today

What is VFFF?

Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation was established as a family charitable trust in 1962 and is now one of the larger family foundations in Australia, having distributed more than $175 million since establishment.

The torch lit by Sir Vincent and Lady Fairfax continues in the family today. Their four children have all contributed to the work of VFFF and a third generation, their grandchildren has emerged to continue family philanthropy into the future.


In honouring our founders’ beliefs and intentions, VFFF seeks opportunities to benefit and care for Australians and our country.


VFFF aspires to a stronger and brighter future for people and places experiencing disadvantage, enabling them to reach their educational, social and economic potential and build thriving communities.

We support a spiritually rich society that values Christian faith in action.

Board of Directors

(August 2017) Left to right: Angus White, Joseph O’Brien, Suzanne Cridge, Tim Fairfax AC, Ruth Armytage AM, James Millar AM, The Honourable Robert Cartwright, Annabel Dulhunty.

James M. Millar AM
VFFF Chairman from March 2017
VFFF Director from April 2009

James Millar was appointed as a Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation on 6 April 2009 and Chairman from 7 March 2017.

James is Chairman of the Export Finance & Insurance Corporation, Forestry Corporation of New South Wales and Generate Ministries; and a Non-Executive Director of Mirvac Limited and Macquarie Radio Network Limited.

James is the former Area Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Ernst & Young and was a member of the firms’ Global Executive Board. James’ career prior to his leadership roles at Ernst & Young was as a Corporate Reconstruction professional. James is a Director, Trustee or Member of a number of not for profit and charitable organisations. He has qualifications in business and accounting, and is a Fellow of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ruth Armytage AM
VFFF Deputy Chair from March 2017
VFFF Director from November 2014

Ruth Armytage was appointed a Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation on 27 November 2014 and Deputy Chair from 7 March 2017.  Ruth has been a Director of the Girls and Boys Brigade from 1990 and was formerly an early childhood educator and teacher. Ruth has been on other not for profit Boards which have focussed on early intervention, young children and youth.

Timothy V. Fairfax AC
VFFF Chairman from November 2009 – March 2017
VFFF Director from November 2002

Tim Fairfax AC was appointed as a Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation in November 2002 and Chairman from November 2009 to March 2017.  Tim is a businessman, pastoralist and philanthropist.

Tim is Chairman of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation.  He is Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, Deputy Chairman of the National Gallery of Australia, President of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation, Director of Australian Philanthropic Services, Director of the RNA and is a member of the National Portrait Gallery Foundation.

Tim is Patron of AMA Queensland Foundation, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, The University of Sunshine Coast Foundation, and Flying Arts Alliance Incorporated.

Tim’s business interests include being Director of Cambooya Pty Ltd, Rawbelle Management Pty Ltd and Principal of TVF Pastoral, JH Fairfax & Son and Strathbogie Pastoral Company, which together operate ten rural properties in Queensland and New South Wales involving beef, wool and grain production.

Annabel F. Dulhunty
VFFF Director from March 2016

Annabel was reappointed as a Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation in 2016, after previously completing an 8-year term in 2013.

Annabel previously worked part-time at VFFF researching, analysing and assessing grants with a focus on the Agriculture theme. Annabel worked for Landcare and the local council while living in Glen Innes. She is a Director of Nant Pastoral Company and a director of various private investment companies.

In 2015 she was appointed to the Board of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), a not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with government, industry and philanthropy.

Prior to country life, Annabel worked in educational publishing and the media. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma of Editing and Publishing from Macquarie University. In 2012, she completed a Master of Business (Social Investment and Philanthropy) at Swinburne University.

Annabel is passionate about philanthropy, particularly: women’s empowerment, rural and regional renewal and the arts.

The Honourable Robert N. Cartwright
VFFF Director from March 2009

 The Honourable Robert Cartwright was appointed a Director of the VFFF on 13 March 2009 and Director of the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation on 24 Sept 2006. He was the Senior Deputy President of Fair Work Australia (previously the Australian Industrial Relations Commission) until 31 March 2011 and past President of the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal from 2004 to 2009. Prior to appointment to the AIRC in 2001, he held senior positions in industry as a Group Managing Director of Telstra Corporation Ltd and over 15 years in the CRA group of companies, including Managing Director of Comalco Rolled Products and President of An Mau Steel Company, Taiwan.

He has been a Director and Deputy Chairman of the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of NSW and Commissioner of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.  He holds a Master of Business Administration from the AGSM and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (USyd).

Angus D. White
VFFF Director from November 2013
VFFF Director February 2002 – December 2006

Angus White joined Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation as a Director firstly in 2002 through until 2006.  He was appointed a second time on 28 November 2013.

Angus is a Director and Chair of various philanthropic, not for profit and private investment Boards. He has degrees in Commerce and Teaching and is a MAICD. At Australian Red Cross NSW he worked as a Case Manager assisting asylum seekers and refugees, and was State Coordinator of the Breakfast Club program. He served as inaugural Chair of Milk Crate Theatre, working with homeless and socially marginalised communities in Sydney.

Suzanne Cridge
VFFF Director February 2015

Sue is a passionate educator who has over 30 years of experience. She has been acknowledged as an Outstanding Education Leader by the state of Victoria in 2003 and was awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship in Education in the same year while working in disadvantaged schools across the government education system. Sue also served as a volunteer teacher of English in a refugee camp for the United Nations.

Sue’s international experience extends to five years spent as Executive Director of Citizen Schools New Mexico USA, establishing a model of expanded learning opportunities for underserved public schools as part of a national US education reform initiative. Upon returning to Australia, Sue led the Innovation Program at the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership. Sue was also invited to join the Australian delegation to attend the World Innovation Summit for Education both in 2012 and 2013.

In 2013, Sue joined Social Ventures Australia to design and lead the national initiative, The Bright Spots Schools Connection. The Connection provides innovative support to leaders to develop projects and actions that respond to the issues of education disadvantage in Australia’s most challenged communities. In 2015, Sue was acknowledged with an award from the Australian Council Educational Leaders.

Joseph O’Brien
VFFF Director from March 2016

Joseph has worked in the energy industry for nearly 20 years leading the establishment of a number of consulting and project-development businesses and providing significant advice in the electricity supply sector. Over this period he has primarily worked as a CEO, Managing Director and advisor. Joseph’s practices have revolved around electricity supply, across both infrastructure and trading markets, with experience in executive management within multinational corporate environment including as part of the global finance committee of GHD Pty Ltd a professional services firm with turnover exceeding US$1 billion. Over recent years Joseph’s focus has been on innovative, commercial and regulatory policy strategies to support energy infrastructure and energy-related project investment via Defiance Energy and VisIR, where Joseph is Executive Chairman.

Joseph is a Director of a number of private companies and is involved in a range of philanthropic activities including as a Director of the Mater Hospital Foundation in Brisbane, Committee member of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation, and Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (and Chair of the Ethical Development working group).

Joseph is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor Degree in Business and has undertaken a range of executive training including training in ethics, governance and advanced financial modelling.



Left to right: Peta Rennie, Executive Assistant; Camilla Chapman, Grants Trainee; Emily Fuller, Foundation Manager; Jenny Wheatley, Chief Executive Officer; David Hardie, Senior Program Manager.

Latest Grants

  • Royal Far West
    $376,582 towards Kids in Parkes, a community-led response to improve health and education outcomes for children in the Parkes Shire.
  • Behavioural Insights Team
    $880,300 towards the final phase of the Code for Online Decisions and Ethics (CODE) Program.
  • Central Queensland Life Education Centre
    $50,000 towards the Mobile Learning Centre, delivering Life Education’s health and drug program to schools and early learning centres throughout Central Queensland.
  • Our Community Project (Tender Funerals)
    $50,000 to develop the Tender Replication Strategy and provide ongoing support to communities adopting the Tender model.
  • Outward Bound Australia
    $35,000 towards the Inspired Muslim Girls program, providing outdoor adventure education that builds confidence, resilience, cultural understanding and cohesion.
  • Raise Foundation
    $46,209 towards high school mentoring programs in Narrabri, Young and Wee Waa.
  • Sandgate and Bracken Ridge Action Group (Sandbag)
    $49,311 towards the employment of a Compliance Officer, essential to Sandbag providing services to those most vulnerable within their community.
  • Thrive Refugee Enterprise
    $35,000 towards a feasibility study of how best to support refugees and asylum seekers in regional NSW to start and run small businesses.