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Foundation Appointment

Betty Amsden Foundation Appoints New Trustees

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Betty Amsden Foundation

The Betty Amsden Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of two new trustees: Simon Abrahams and Chris Wilson. They bring to the Board a wealth of experience, skills and a shared passion for the work of the Foundation.

“We are so pleased to welcome both new Trustees,” said Betty Amsden Foundation Chair, Frankie Airey. “Along with fellow Trustees Vedran Drakulic OAM and Rachael Grabovic, I am excited about what this Board will help realise for Victoria whilst honouring Betty’s legacy.”

“It is also wonderful to have found such great additions to our Board from within the ‘Betty family’. Simon had a warm and deep relationship with Betty and also received one of her first Awards for travel and professional development. Chris met Betty on numerous occasions. Their relationships were quite different, but her impact on both Simon and Chris was strong – as it so often was with Betty,” said Airey.

Chris Wilson is a Partner at Koda Capital and is a founding member of their Philanthropy and Social Capital team. He has a decade of experience in financial services. Chris is a Co-Founder of Plus One, an initiative that opens up corporate leadership training to non-profit executives. He has previously been Chair of the Reach Foundation and was a Founding Committee Member of Impact100Melbourne.

Simon Abrahams is one of Australia’s arts and cultural leaders and is currently Creative Director & CEO of Melbourne Fringe. He is a life member of Theatre Network Australia, an organisation he co-founded then Chaired from 2010-2017. Simon has previously served as Head of Programming at the Wheeler Centre and as Executive Producer at Polyglot Theatre. He currently sits on the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Board Programming Committee and the City of Melbourne’s Night Time Economy Activation Taskforce.

Simon and Chris will take over from two of the founding Trustees, Mark Kirkby and Jeanette Brookes. “We can’t thank Jeanette and Mark enough for their great work in helping to establish and grow the Foundation,” said Airey. “We wish them all the best with the next phase of their journeys and look forward to continuing to work with Jeanette in a new capacity.”



The Board of Trustees, together with Executive Officer Carly Severino Moran, will continue to build on Miss Betty’s commitments to fostering community spirit through the arts, improving the lives of children and young people, and encouraging leadership development and personal growth for people working in the non-profit sector.

A self-made entrepreneur Betty’s approach to philanthropy was rare. She gave not only financial support but also generously gifted her time, wisdom and energy. Her commitment to the people and causes she supported was deeply personal and her optimism and profound love of humanity was endlessly inspiring. Betty was one of a kind.

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