The past year has been another successful one for the Macpherson Smith Rural Foundation. After nine years the Foundation has established a defined framework to guide its aim of supporting a vibrant and resilient rural Victoria.
The Foundation since its formation has focused on leadership as one critical factor that it can assist to foster and develop particularly young Victorians who have already provided leadership in their local community.
Through the Foundation’s scholarship, mentoring and leadership training we have assisted over 500 young Victorians. It is the package of support wrapped around each individual that makes our program so effective.
In the past year we have added new vocational scholarships as a result of the generosity of a private donor. We also added two university scholarships from a private donor and the Edith M and William Wilson Trust, managed by Equity Trustees.
Through the generous support of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust we have undertaken a comprehensive review of the programs and the opportunities for the next stage of our development. This work will inform the Foundation’s strategic plan for the next period.
During the year under review, we have farewelled Fran Awcock as a Director. Fran has been a key member of the Board since the Foundation’s establishment and among a wide range of contributions, her assistance and guidance of the mentoring program has been exemplary. We miss her wise counsel and thank her sincerely for her fine contribution.
In 2016 we welcomed Mr Bruce Anderson and in July 2017 we welcomed Ms Bernie Lloyd as new Directors. They are both highly experienced and passionate about the Foundation’s mission.
We have also appointed an experienced Company Secretary, Mr Peter Hunt who has already made a significant contribution to the processes and administration of the Foundation.
I record the Board’s warm appreciation to our Executive Officer, Dr Maryann Brown who does an amazing job and provides inspiring leadership to the Foundation.
We now have an expanding Alumni who are engaged, creative and enthusiastically contributing to a better rural Victoria. This group of intelligent and motivated leaders are a fine example of the Foundation’s success.
Finally, I record my appreciation to my fellow Directors for their tireless and generous contribution to the Foundation and for their great support to me.
Rob Knowles AOChairmanMacpherson Smith Rural Foundation