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Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation

‘Let us remember that the power and wealth of a democracy is measured not only by the number and quality of its eminent leaders but by thousands of ‘little’ leaders who provide its real strength.’

Vincent Fairfax address at the opening of the Birthright Conference, 8 October 1983.

VFFF Ethics in Leadership

The Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation (VFELF) was established by the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and Fairfax family members with the particular aim of developing ‘ethical leadership’ in Australia. Through funding a number of programs in leadership development, VFELF seeks to support the development of high standards of ethics in leadership so that outstanding Australians can expand their capacity to make a significant impact for the good of the community.

During the latter part of his life, Sir Vincent was particularly keen to encourage the development of good leadership. He envisaged that the landscape of leadership in Australia would be shaped by people who would lead their communities and organisations with their thoughts, beliefs, decisions and actions grounded in a sound ethical framework.

VFELF-funded programs aim to equip participants with the insights, conviction, behaviours, skills and knowledge to make considered ethical decisions and actions, having regard to those affected and treating others as they themselves would wish to be treated.


The Wisdom Project

Wisdom Project jpeg
The Wisdom Project is a collection of stories from the inaugural cohort of the Vincent Fairfax Fellows that completed the programme more than 20 years ago. Drawing on the balance of time and experience, these stories document the paths taken by the Fellows since the conclusion of their first programme. The Wisdom Project provides a candid snapshot of the challenges inherent in ethical leadership, and how the Fellowship continues to inform the professional and personal lives of the Fellows long after its conclusion. Our sincere thanks to author John Landmark and all the inaugural Fellows for their generosity in sharing their stories.


Board of Directors

Angus D. White
VFELF Director from 9 December 2009
VFELF Chairman from November 2013

The Honourable Robert N. Cartwright
VFELF Chairman 1 December 2007- 14 October 2013
VFELF Director from 24 September 2006

James M. Millar AM
VFELF Director from October 2016

Ruth Armytage AM
VFELF Director from October 2016

Timothy V. Fairfax AC
VFELF Director from October 2016

Annabel F. Dulhunty
VFELF Director from October 2016

Suzanne Cridge
VFELF Director from October 2016

Joseph O’Brien
VFELF Director from October 2016

For Director biographies, please see VFFF Board of Directors

Organisations supported

VFELF currently supports:

Latest Grants

  • The Behavioural insights Team
    $702,000 for the Ethical Development Program (CODE) Phase 3.
  • Documentary Australia Foundation
    $125,000 towards production costs of the BackTrack Boys documentary.
  • Generate Ministries
    Up to $100,000 in matched funding for schools in NSW to access the NSW Government's Student Wellbeing Support Program.
  • Logan Together
    $692,016 over three years towards core operations of the Logan Together team, an initiative to close the gap in rates of healthy child development in Logan, QLD.
  • The Girls and Boys Brigade
    $33,070 towards the employment of two consultants to review the Girls & Boys Brigade’s current service delivery model, financial plan and fundraising strategy.
  • Hoxton Park Anglican Church
    $20,000 towards the purchase of a minibus and trailer for transport of the local refugee community to access church activities and social services.
  • Sharing Stories Foundation
    $37,500 towards Paakantji language training in five schools across Western NSW.