ensuring our future

Ascham Foundation

Every significant investment into Ascham has been made possible because of the generous financial support of our community. Ascham Foundation plays a critical role in fostering ongoing community-wide support to help build on this legacy.

About the Foundation

Ascham Foundation was established in 1977 and assists the School Council in developing the standards and facilities of Ascham, by engaging with the whole community to attract investment for the benefit of the girls and staff. It acts as the trustee for all funds raised.

Ascham Foundation supports a range of School events, such as the Senior Drama production, Music Camp Concert and the Foundation Award for Excellence in Practical Art — awarded annually at the HSC Art Show.

Foundation membership

Membership of Ascham Foundation is open to all members of our Ascham community, upon donating a minimum of $10,000 either as a single gift, a pledge or a series of smaller gifts over time, to Ascham Foundation or one of its tax-deductible funds. Those in the Ascham community who let the Foundation know about their intention to leave a Gift in their Will are also invited to become members.

Members of Ascham Foundation elect the Foundation’s Directors and the Council of Governors may also nominate up to three Council members to serve as Directors.

Board of Directors

Mr Justin Crawford (Chair)
Ms Roanne McGinley Knox (Deputy-Chair)
Ms Rachel Da Costa (Director)
Ms Sophie Gilder (Director)
Mr Trent Peterson (Director)
Ms Kiera Grant (Director)
Ms Karen Phin (Director)
Mr Grant Lovett (Director)
Mr Justin Crawford

A Director of the Foundation since 2019 and an Executive Director of Macquarie Bank with 25 years’ financial investment experience at Macquarie. Justin is the former Global Head of Equity Derivative Trading and currently Head of Macquarie Private Bank. Justin has two daughters attending Ascham.

Ms Roanne McGinley Knox BA, LLB (Hons)

A Director of the Foundation since 2016. Ro Knox was a former management consultant in strategy specialising in financial services. After leaving management consulting Ro co-founded a business which funds and develops early stage companies. Ro has one daughter attending Ascham.

Ms Rachel Da Costa

A Director of the Foundation since 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 large national law firm and then moved into government, working as a senior adviser to two Cabinet Ministers in the Federal Government. 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 Ascham.

Ms Sophie Gilder B Law (Hons), Bee

A Director of the Foundation since 2019, Sophie is Head of Institutional & Business Ventures at x15 Ventures, and leads the Commonwealth Bank Australia’s Centres of Excellence in blockchain and AI. She is responsible for building new digital ventures through the design, development and scaling of solutions to drive commercial outcomes, 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. Sophie is an Ascham Old Girl and has two daughters attending Ascham.

Mr Trent Peterson

Trent joined the Board of the Foundation in 2019. Trent 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 Limited, 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. Trent has one daughter attending Ascham.

Ms Kiera Grant

A Director of the Foundation since 2018. Kiera is an experienced non-executive director of public and private companies and the current chair of the Art Gallery of NSW Foundation. She is also a non-executive director of Adairs Limited, Future Generation Global Investment Company (a Wilson Asset Management LIC), and Samuel Smith & Sons Limited (incorporating Yalumba Wine Co and Negociants Wine Distribution). She is a former director of Sydney Dance Company and Pacific Brands Limited. 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 is an Ascham Old Girl and has one daughter attending Ascham.

Ms Karen Phin BA/LLB (Hons) Grad Dip App Fin

A Director of the foundation since 2015 and a Director of Ascham School Limited since 2014. Karen Phin is a Non Executive Director of Magellan Financial Group Limited, Omni Bridgeway Limited and ARB Corporation. She has over 20 years’ experience in investment banking, advising top Australian companies on their capital management strategies.

Karen was previously a Managing Director and Head of Capital Management Advisory at Citigroup and a Managing Director at UBS Australia, establishing and leading its Capital Management Group. Prior to joining Citigroup, Karen spent 12 months at ASIC as a Senior Specialist in the Corporations group. Karen has a BA/LLB (Hons) from the University of Sydney and is currently a member of the Takeovers Panel. Karen has one daughter attending Ascham.

Mr Grant Lovett

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.

Scholarships and Bursaries

Scholarships and Bursaries are awarded to girls who the School believes will thrive academically and personally through the Dalton Plan and make a significant contribution to life at Ascham.

Ascham scholarships and boarding bursaries are only possible through the incredible generosity of donors from the community. Their ongoing support has changed the lives of hundreds of girls who otherwise would not have benefitted from all the opportunities of an Ascham education.

The Foundation maintains a Scholarship Fund, working to increase its capacity to provide greater scholarships opportunities at Ascham and secure long-term support for deserving girls. It seeks continual growth for the Fund, encouraging the Ascham community to invest through fully tax-deductible donations.

Those considering a donation can:

  • Give securely through this website. See ‘Making a Donation’ below.
  • Include a Scholarship Fund Voluntary Contribution on your regular Fees Statement, if a current parent.
  • Take part in our annual Giving Day.
  • Provide a Legacy Gift. To discuss a Legacy Gift for your family, such as a named scholarship, please contact our Head of Foundation and Development.

Gifts in Wills

Anyone with a strong affection for Ascham can also help through a gift in a will, and help secure Ascham’s long-term security.

Ascham has a long and respected tradition of giving. Since its early days, the generosity and foresight of the Ascham community across generations has contributed directly to the School’s continual growth.

Today, Old Girls and parents both current and past help support Ascham’s future in a number of ways: donating funds, dedicating their personal time at school events or in the community, and donating items to our School archives.

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 long-term endowment.

Our Head of Foundation and Development looks forward to the opportunity to discuss your particular requirements further, and provide you or your legal adviser with more information.

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.

Available Funds for donation

There are two Foundation Funds which attract tax-deductibility for donors:

  • Building Fund: gifts to this Fund are applied to building projects.
  • Scholarship Fund: gifts to this Fund support Ascham’s Scholarship Program.
Donation Options

There are two ways in which you can donate:

  • securely online with a credit card or by bank transfer (EFT). Please use the ‘Donate online’ button here.
  • contacting the Head of Foundation and Development by phone or by email.
More information

Acknowledgements: You can choose to be publicly acknowledged or remain anonymous. Donation amounts are never disclosed.

Becoming a Foundation Member: You may be invited to become a member of the Foundation after a donation or pledge of $10,000 or more, or after notification to the Foundation of your intention to leave a Gift in your Will.

Make an enquiry about a Gift

Contact Make a Gift

Become part of Ascham

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We look forward to welcoming you.

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