ensuring our future

Ascham Foundation

The Foundation stewards the unique intergenerational philanthropic culture of the Ascham community, investing its generous financial support to build on our legacy and create a lasting impact for a brighter future.

About the Foundation

The Ascham Foundation was established in 1977, primarily to support the School Council in delivering ongoing investment to the places, programs and people at Ascham.
The Foundation continues in its pivotal role to build on our culture of giving through fostering ongoing community support and nurturing longterm philanthropic partnerships.

The Foundation acts as trustee for all funds raised and enables Ascham to plan and implement innovative programs, provide exceptional opportunities for our students and staff and invest in long-term campus renewal.

Foundation membership

We deeply appreciate every contribution to the Foundation, regardless of the amount. Ascham community members who generously donate a minimum of $10,000, whether as a single pledge or through a series of smaller gifts, are invited to become a member of the Ascham Foundation. Moreover, those within the Ascham community who inform the Foundation of their intention to leave a Gift in their Will are also warmly welcomed as members.

Members of the Ascham Foundation have the privilege of electing the Foundation’s Directors. Additionally, the Council of Governors may nominate up to three Council members to serve as Directors, ensuring a collaborative governance structure that represents the collective voice of the Ascham community.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Ascham scholarships and boarding bursaries exist thanks to the incredible generosity of community donors.

Ascham scholarships and boarding bursaries exist thanks to the incredible generosity of community donors.

The unwavering support of our community has transformed the lives of countless students, who otherwise would not have benefitted from all the opportunities of an Ascham education, and the lifelong learning it shapes. The scholarship program supports students for Academic, All Rounder, First Nations, Equity and Inclusivity scholarships.

In establishing the Jiu-Hwa Lo Ngara Scholarship for First Nations students Jiu-Hwa Lo (Class of 1955) noted that she hopes the scholarship “will give Australian Indigenous girls the opportunity and support they deserve so they can reclaim their families’ birthright. Just as Ascham was a crucial pivot point in my life, it can also make an important contribution to the education of Indigenous girls and, in turn, the long healing process upon which Australia has embarked.”

The Belgiorno-Nettis family generously established a new Vi et Animo Scholarship focusing on Equity and Inclusivity with Anita Belgiorno-Nettis commenting,

It is wonderful for us to know that the Belgiorno-Nettis Scholarship will go to girls from diverse cultural groups who will be able to attend such a fantastic school, and who will be given the opportunity to make the most of their abilities. Some years back I remember reading about the vast disparity in donations between boys’ schools and girls’ schools. As in many other aspects of our social life, this has to change. We hope our gift will inspire others to follow in our footsteps”.

All donations to the Scholarship Fund are eligible for tax deductions, offering an additional incentive to contribute. We invite you for a conversation to explore the various levels of support for scholarships

Building Fund

The Ascham Building Fund contributes to our aspirations for campus renewal and drives ongoing growth and development.

Support for the Building Fund enables us to enhance our infrastructure, expand our facilities and enhance our environment for teaching, learning and personal growth, as we look towards the next 100 years of the Dalton Plan.

Through the Building fund we empower current and future generations of students and staff to thrive and succeed in a modern and inspiring educational setting.

Choosing to invest in the Building Fund is an act of philanthropy that goes beyond immediate impact. It is a statement of belief in the enduring legacy of Ascham and its mission, where you play a vital role in shaping the future of Ascham and ensuring its continued success for years to come.

We invite you to join the School, the Foundation and many in the community who have already joined us in our transformative campus renewal. Through your investment in the Ascham Building Fund, you become a part of our strong legacy that will positively impact the lives of students and our community for many years ahead.

Gifts in Wills

Gifts in Wills have a long tradition at Ascham. In 1948 a bequest of £10,000 from the Littlejohn family enabled the purchase of The Dower House and Fiona—a true legacy.
Since our earliest days, the generosity and foresight of the Ascham community across generations has contributed directly to the School’s continual growth. More recently, Gifts in Wills and donations to the Building Fund have spearheaded the purchase and development of our Centre for the Sciences.

Gifts in Wills provide a way for people to make a lasting contribution, while still enjoying their assets during their lifetime. They can be tailored to reflect the particular interests and objectives of the donor and are the mainstay of a successful program of longterm endowment.

If you have already made provisions in your Will for Ascham School please let us know so we can thank you for your generosity.

We realise a gift in a Will is a significant decision. Our Head of Foundation and Development is able to discuss your particular requirements and considerations further, and provide you or your legal adviser with more information. Below are some commonly asked questions that may assist in your considerations.

Revenue from school fees and government grants is mostly taken up with the day-to-day costs of running the School—salaries, education resources, maintenance and so on. Annual fees would need to rise considerably if we needed to fund large projects solely from fee revenue. Maintaining fees at or near current levels while maintaining and improving the school’s facilities has become a challenge, particularly with the current climate of governmental review of independent school funding. Ascham depends on contributions in order to continue to remain at the forefront of girls’ education in Australia.

Gifts in Wills have a long tradition at Ascham. In 1948 a bequest of £10,000 from the Littlejohn family enabled the purchase of The Dower House and Fiona—a true legacy. Recent Gifts in Wills and donations to the Building Fund have spearheaded the purchase and development of our Centre for the Sciences. Thanks to improvements such as this, our girls will be well-equipped to be part of a rapidly changing technological world.

Anyone! The whole community past and present can participate and ensure that the education of our girls is maintained at the highest levels.

Whenever suits your personal circumstances—it is never too early to include Ascham in your Will. We hope that you will consider your influence on future generations throughout your life.

You can specify a gift to the Foundation as: a fixed sum, income from your estate, a percentage of your whole estate, the residue of your estate (monies remaining after providing for other beneficiaries), a specific asset, such as real estate, shares, bonds, life insurance policy or other items of value.

Depending on your passion, we recommend that you choose between the Scholarship or Building Funds. Alternatively, you may wish to consider a gift to Ascham Foundation Ltd (the Endowment Fund) and the Directors will allocate monies to the School for use where it is most needed at the time. All the Funds have tax-deductible status except the Endowment Fund.

You will need to include the Foundation as an entity, the address and ABN: Ascham Foundation Limited, 188 New South Head Road, Edgecliff, NSW 2027. ABN 79 001 477 970.

Before leaving a gift in your Will to Ascham, we recommend that you involve your family in your decision and that you seek the advice of your solicitor. Making a gift this way does not always entail rewriting your Will. A simple addition or supplement to your Will provides an easy option for this special gift.

Ascham has long held a place as a leader in high quality girls’ education. With your valued support we can ensure we continue to build on this legacy, guided by the values that have defined Ascham throughout its history.

There are two Foundation Funds: the Building Fund and the Scholarship Fund, and both attract tax deductibility for donors. You can choose to be publicly acknowledged or remain anonymous—donation amounts are never disclosed.

Donations can be made online or by contacting our Head of Foundation and Development.

Thank you for considering a gift to Ascham School and the Foundation, and for helping to ensure our future.

Make an enquiry about a Gift

Contact Make a Gift

Board of

Mr Justin Crawford

Grad Dip Financial Markets

A Director of the Foundation since March 2019, and non-executive Chairman of Ascham Foundation Ltd since November 2019. Justin Crawford is an Executive Director of Macquarie Bank and Head of Macquarie Private Bank with 29 years financial investment experience at Macquarie having lived in Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong. Justin is the former Global Head of Equity Derivative Trading and currently Head of Macquarie Private Bank. He has two daughters at Ascham.

Ms Roanne McGinley Knox

BA, LLB (Hons)

A Director of the Foundation since 2016. Ro McGinley Knox is a former strategic management consultant specialising in financial services and a former partner at an investment firm focused on pre-market entrepreneurs. She is the founder of a teen girls’ label Chasing Sunshine Sydney which distributes on the Iconic and Maisonette in the US. Ro and her husband have one daughter who attends Ascham School.

Mrs Kate Considine

BA Communications (Public Communications)

Kate is an Ascham Old Girl with a long family connection to the school. Her mother, Barbara Mortimer is a former Ascham economics and geography teacher and her father, David Mortimer AO was on the Ascham Board and Foundation while Kate and her sister Genevieve attended the school. Kate has two daughters who are currently in Fiona at Ascham and a son at The Scots College.

After graduating from UTS Kate worked in various communications roles including product and fashion public relations and talent management with the Harry M Miller Group. During the university holidays she volunteered for Sydney University Football Club helping to set up the Ladies Day and the Family Day Events.

Whilst living in Singapore Kate began a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) via correspondence with Charles Sturt University. During this time she volunteered as a teachers assistant at the Australian International School, Singapore. 

Ms Rachel Da Costa​

BA, LLB (Hons)

A Director of the Foundation since March 2019. Rachel has a strong background in both law and public policy having held senior positions in the legal and government sectors over many years. Rachel began her career as a commercial litigation lawyer for a leading national law firm and then moved into government, working as a senior adviser to two Cabinet Ministers in the Federal Government. She is currently a full-time member of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal and is undertaking postgraduate study in the area of administrative law and governance. Rachel has served as Vice-President of the Ascham Parents’ Association and was a member of the Major Donor Committee and Parent Committee for Ascham Foundation’s Duntrim Capital Campaign. Rachel has one daughter attending the School.

Ms Sophie Gilder

B Law (Hons), BEc​

A Director of the Foundation Ltd since 2019, Sophie is Head of Blockchain and Digital Assets at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. She is responsible for leading new blockchain and digital asset related initiatives. The role includes the design, development and scaling of digital products, as well as the development of strategy, partnerships and business models to realise these opportunities. She has extensive experience in advisory and structured finance through a number of roles in investment banking in Europe and Australia, as well as experience founding her own startup. Sophie has been a Director of Ascham School Ltd since 2017. Sophie is an Old Girl of the School and has two daughters at Ascham.

Ms Kiera Grant ​


A Director of the Foundation since 2018. Kiera Grant is an experienced full-time non-executive director for both public and private companies. Kiera is a non-executive director of Future Generation Global Investment (FGG), a Wilson Asset Management LIC, Samuel Smith & Sons (incorporating Yalumba Wine Co and Negociants Wine Distribution) and Adairs Ltd (ADH). She is also the Chair and trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW Foundation and Trustee of the Art Gallery of NSW. Kiera has over 15 years’ Investment Banking experience having worked for UBS as an Executive Director for 12 years. Kiera holds a Bachelor of Economics from Sydney University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Kiera and one daughter are Old Girls and she has one daughter attending the School.

Mr Grant Lovett

Bcomm, MAppFin, CA, AICD Member

Grant is currently the General Manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs at the ASX. Prior to this he had more than 20 years’ financial markets experience in New York, London and Sydney culminating as the Head of Fixed Income at UBS Australia. From 2012 to 2015, Grant was the Chief of Staff to Hon. Joe Hockey (Shadow Treasurer and Commonwealth Treasurer). He is also a Director of the Black Dog Institute, Quest for Life and Treasurer of the Story Factory. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of NSW and a Masters of Applied Finance from Macquarie University.

Mr Trent Peterson​

BComm, CA

A Director of the Foundation since July 2019. Trent Peterson is a managing director and partner at Catalyst Investment Managers and related entities, and has 20 years’ experience as a company director and private equity investor. He is currently a Director of Adairs Ltd, Shaver Shop, Cirrus Media, Universal Store, Dusk, and Mr Vitamins. Trent is also a director of GathermyCrew.org. He was a former director of Just Group, SkyBus, Global Television, EziBuy, Metro GlassTech, Moraitis Group, Taverner Hotel Group, and Power Farming. Trent qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has a Commerce degree from the University of Melbourne. He is the father of a current student.

and reports

Ascham produces a range of publications and reports throughout the year, covering most aspects of operation. We include the most relevant here for reference.

2022 Foundation Constitution
2022 Annual Report

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