Our Story, Our People
Our Board comprises a mix of family members and independent directors. The Board meets quarterly to make funding decisions as well as for an Annual Review Meeting and AGM.
Left to right: Ruth Armytage AM, Annabel White, Angus White, Joseph O’Brien, Andrew Fairfax, Suzanne Cridge, Rosemary Vilgan, Tim Fairfax AC, James Millar AM.
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, and Forestry Corporation of New South Wales; and a Non-Executive Director of Mirvac 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.
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.
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 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 educational disadvantage in Australia’s most challenged communities. In 2015, Sue was acknowledged with an award from the Australian Council for Educational Leaders.
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 environments 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, and Committee Member of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation.
Joseph is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a bachelor's degree in business and has undertaken a range of executive training including training in ethics, governance and advanced financial modelling.
Rosemary Vilgan is the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Bank Group Staff Superannuation Fund and the Chairperson of the Federal Government’s Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, a Member of the Cambooya Investment Committee, the Advisory Board for the Committee for Brisbane and a member of various Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Committees.
Rosemary was the CEO of QSuper from 1998 until late 2015. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by QUT for her services to the University which included 12 years as a Councillor and was also granted Life Membership of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) for her services. Rosemary has held a variety of other business and not-for-profit positions over her business life and in recognition of her career, was named the 2013 Telstra Australian Businesswoman of the Year. Rosemary has qualifications in business and superannuation and is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and ASFA and a Member of Chief Executive Women.
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 ACVFFF Chairman from November 2009 – March 2017
VFFF Director from November 2002 Expand
Mr Tim Fairfax AC is a Company Director, Pastoralist and Philanthropist.
Tim is Chairman of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation. He is also the Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Australian and Philanthropic Services, and Ningana Giving Pty Limited.
He is the President of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation, a member of the National Portrait Gallery Foundation, the National Gallery of Australia Foundation and Australian Schools Plus.
Tim is Patron of the AMAQ Foundation, the University of the Sunshine Coast Foundation, the Flying Arts Alliance Incorporated the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and, Actors' & Entertainers' Benevolent Fund (Qld) Inc.
Tim takes an active leadership role in promoting philanthropy in Australia. He is passionate about supporting rural, remote and regional communities, particularly students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
He has a range of business interests. He operates nine rural properties in Queensland and New South Wales involving beef cattle, fine wool and grain.
Annabel has extensive experience in the philanthropic and not for profit sectors in Australia and is a keen supporter of grassroots initiatives. Prior to her career in philanthropy, Annabel worked in publishing and the media.
Annabel was reappointed as a Director of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation in 2016, after previously completing an eight year term in 2013.
Annabel previously worked part-time at VFFF researching, analysing and assessing grants. She moved from the city to rural properties in Glen Innes and now the Southern Highlands and during this time worked for Landcare, Arts North West and the local council amongst other community volunteer roles, giving her a wide understanding of community and rural needs.
In 2015 she was appointed to the Board of the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR), a not-for-profit organisation working in partnership with government, industry and philanthropy.
Annabel holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma of Editing and Publishing from Macquarie University and a Master of Business (Social Investment and Philanthropy) at Swinburne University. She has also completed the Australian Company Institute of Director’s course.
Annabel is passionate about philanthropy, particularly women’s empowerment, rural and regional renewal and the arts and continues to be involved on boards and committees in her interest areas.
Andy worked in the wholesale/distribution of manufactured goods for outdoor activities before embarking on a career in the banking sector at ANZ. Following this he gained a degree in Marine Biology from James Cook University in 2007 and an Honours degree in the same from the University of New South Wales in 2008.
Andy currently raises his five children whilst attempting to write the great Australian novel, as well as start and build a surf brand. He is particularly interested in equality for all and mental health issues, especially among youth and indigenous youth.
As well as VFFF, Andy sits on the Board of Directors for a variety of family investment companies, the JIBB Foundation and The Girls and Boys Brigade.
Geoffrey White is the Trustee Emeritus of VFFF and led the Foundation as Chief Executive Officer for almost 20 years until his retirement in 2010. He was instrumental in developing VFFF into a major Australian family foundation.
Prior to his work with the VFFF he had a diplomatic career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade including five overseas postings, the last being Nairobi where he served as High Commissioner from 1982 to 1986.
He remains engaged in philanthropy work including with The Mundango Charitable Trust and Mundango Abroad. He continues to be actively engaged with a rural property at Braidwood in the NSW Southern Tablelands.
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