Every significant investment in the future of the School has been made possible because of the generous financial support of the Ascham community. The Ascham that girls, parents, staff and Old Girls enjoy today owes its thanks to those who have given from their hearts in the past. Since its establishment in 1977, Ascham Foundation Ltd has played a critical role in encouraging community-wide support.

It is through the foresight, dedication and commitment of many generous benefactors since the School first opened its doors in 1886 that Ascham has been able to teach, support and encourage thousands of girls at such an important stage in their lives.
Giving is at the true heart of Ascham

Continued generosity has made it possible for generations of proud Ascham girls to learn and grow, and participate in the world in a meaningful way. Passion for the School is well demonstrated by countless Old Girls, parents, families and wider networks for whom Ascham means so much.

All the School’s major buildings were developed or acquired through the generosity of donors—Packer Theatre, Fiona, Hillingdon, Holmwood, The Dower House, Duntrim House and the Centre for the Sciences—and this generosity continues to ensure girls today and in the future will enjoy high-quality facilities.

Aim of the Foundation

The aim of Ascham Foundation is to assist Ascham School Council of Governors in preserving, developing and maintaining the standards and facilities of Ascham School. It does that by nurturing an enduring connection between Foundation members and the School, by engaging with the whole community to attract, retain and grow funds for the benefit of the girls and staff and by acting as the trustee for all funds raised.

Additionally, Ascham Foundation proudly supports School life through its sponsorship of various events, such as the Senior Drama production, Music Camp Concert, the HSC Art Show and the award of the annual Foundation Award for Excellence in Practical Art.

Foundation Membership

Members of the Ascham community are invited to apply for membership of Ascham Foundation Ltd, a public company limited by guarantee, upon donation of a minimum gift of $10,000 and above. This may be by way of a gift or pledge or a series of smaller gifts over time to Ascham Foundation or one of its tax-deductible funds. Members of Ascham community who notify the Foundation of their intention to leave a Gift in their Will are also warmly invited to apply for membership.

The members of Ascham Foundation elect its Directors. In addition, the Council of Governors may nominate up to three Council members to serve as Directors of Ascham Foundation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

In a perfect world, every child would have the head-start I was given. I am grateful to the donor who gave me the chance to experience opportunities that so many others go without.
Jessica Lee (2005)

All Ascham Scholarships and Boarding Bursaries will be means-tested and are for girls who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend Ascham. They are awarded by the School to girls who it believes will thrive academically and personally through the Dalton Plan, and who will in turn make a significant contribution to the life of the School.

These scholarships and bursaries are made possible through the generosity of donors from across the Ascham community. Their ongoing support has helped change the lives of hundreds of girls who otherwise would not have been able to benefit from the opportunities available at Ascham.

Increasing our capacity to provide scholarships at Ascham through a sustainable Scholarship Fund is the best way to secure long-term support for deserving students.

In addition, Ascham is committed to being a diverse and inclusive learning community. An outstanding education should include learning with other students, as well as from teachers, whose backgrounds, beliefs, lifestyles, and perspectives reflect that diversity.

In seeking support for scholarships, we encourage members of our community to give at a level that is generous for them personally. Please note that donations to the Scholarship Fund are fully tax-deductible.

If you would like to donate you have a number of options:

  • To give securely through the Ascham website, please go to ‘Making a Donation’ below.
  • For current parents, the Scholarship Fund Voluntary Contribution is on your regular Fees Statement.
  • If you would like to talk more about a Legacy Gift for your family, such as a named scholarship, please contact Diana Lovegrove, Head of Foundation and Development on 02 8356 7285 or

Gifts in Wills

Past students, parents, staff or indeed anyone with strong affection for Ascham can help maintain our tradition of excellence through a gift in a will.

Gifts in Wills 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.

Ascham has fostered a strong tradition of giving since its inception. The generosity and foresight of the Ascham community across generations has been critical to the School’s growth.

Today, many Old Girls, and current and past parents support Ascham’s future prosperity by donating funds, dedicating their personal time at school events or in the community and donating goods to the archives. Making a gift in your will to Ascham can help secure Ascham’s long-term security.

What is a gift in a will?

A gift in a Will provides a way for you to make a lasting contribution, while still enjoying your assets during your lifetime.

Why leave a gift in your will?

Revenue from school fees and government grants is largely taken up with the day to day costs of running such a complex organisation – this includes salaries, educations resources, maintenance and so on. To fund large projects from fee revenue, annual fees would need to rise considerably. Maintaining fees at or near current levels and simultaneously 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 education in Australia.

How does my gift help?

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 new Centre for the Sciences. Our girls will be equipped to take part in a rapidly changing technological world.

Ascham appreciates gifts of all sizes. Every gift, large and small, from a wide base of donors can help to build a sizeable sum.

Who can make a gift in a will to Ascham?

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

When is a good time to include Ascham in my will?

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.

How can I participate?

You may specify a gift to the Foundation by way of the following: 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.

What other details do I need to include Ascham in my will?

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

Is there anything else I should take into account?

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 codicil (an addition or supplement to your Will) provides an easy option for this special gift.

Where can I get further information?

Please contact the Head of Foundation and Development, who would be delighted to provide you or your legal adviser with more information.

Making a Donation

Ascham Foundation’s Funds

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

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

In addition, the Endowment Fund provides funding for educational programs, prizes, bursaries and teacher development. Gifts to the Endowment Fund are not tax-deductible.

Donation Options

  • online with a credit card
  • completing the enquiry form below
  • contacting the Foundation on +61 2 8356 7285

More information

You may choose to be publicly acknowledged or remain anonymous. Donation amounts are never disclosed.

Donors may be invited to become a member of the Foundation after a donation or pledge of $10,000 and above, or after notification to the Foundation of their intention to leave a Gift in their Will.

Online payment is made with a credit card via the School’s secure Westpac payment gateway. Once you complete your chosen donation option, click submit and you will be asked for your credit card details by Westpac. A payment receipt will be issued by Westpac and you will receive a tax receipt from the relevant Ascham Foundation Fund by mail, where the fund qualifies for tax-deductibility.

Make a Gift Enquiry

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    The Foundation Board of Directors

    Mr Justin Crawford (Chair)

    A Director of the Foundation since 2019. Executive Director of Macquarie Bank with 25 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 (Deputy-Chair)

    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 and her husband have two girls attending the School.

    Ms Rachel Da Costa (Director)

    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. She has also been a member of a NSW tribunal. 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. She is currently undertaking postgraduate study in the area of administrative law and governance. Rachel has one daughter attending the School.

    Ms Sophie Gilder (Director)

    B Law (Hons), Bee
    A Director of the Foundation since 2019, Sophie is Head 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, as well as founding her own startup company. Sophie is an Ascham School Limited nominee to Ascham Foundation Limited. She is an Old Girl of the School.

    Mr Trent Peterson (Director)

    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 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.

    Ms Kiera Grant (Director)

    A Director of the Foundation since 2018. Kiera Grant is an experienced full time non-executive director of both public and private companies. Kiera is 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 Old Girl and has two girls attending the School.

    Ms Karen Phin (Director)

    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 the School.


    Ascham Foundation’s Constitution

    Download the Ascham Foundation Constitution.

    Ascham School