Family Philanthropy

Left to right: VFFF Directors Ruth Armytage AM, Annabel White, Angus White, Joseph O’Brien, Andrew Fairfax, Suzanne Cridge, Rosemary Vilgan, Tim Fairfax AC, James Millar AM


In honouring our founders’ beliefs and intentions, VFFF seeks opportunities to benefit and care for Australians and our country.


Backing Young People with innovative opportunities that advance their independence, social purpose and future security

In 1962, Sir Vincent Fairfax established a charitable trust that is now the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF).

“This action was taken on the basis that my children are well provided for, and hopefully, in their turn will contribute further assets to this Family pot of gratitude for all the benefits we have received since landing in Australia in 1883” – Sir Vincent Fairfax, 1973

Lady Nancy Fairfax was a Founding Trustee and she bequeathed a large amount of her Estate to the Foundation in 2007, transforming VFFF’s potential to benefit many generations of Australians.

The Founders’ children, grandchildren and great grandchildren built on these foundations and VFFF has gifted over $195 million to Australian communities. As we look forward to our 60th anniversary in 2022, we celebrate the continued commitment of the Fairfax family to honouring the legacy of the Founders.

Three generations of the Vincent Fairfax family are involved in our work – as Directors, Committee members, representing VFFF at events, seeking out funding opportunities and providing that unique steer on what is important to the family.

Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy Fairfax at Rawbelle in the early 1980s
Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy Fairfax at Wanawong in Castle Hill

info heading

info content

We strive to be a thriving multi-generational family foundation for many generations to come. Each of Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy’s children are represented on the Board. Since 2012, the Grants Committee has brought family members together to participate in grant making for VFFF gifts up to $50,000. Three quarters of Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy’s grandchildren have participated as Committee members, gaining practical experience in grants assessment and governance. The Grants Committee is a unique way of maintaining connection among cousins as the family spreads geographically.

When family members turn 18, they are invited to become VFFF members. This year we welcomed Alexander White, Charlotte Dulhunty and Severin Fairfax as the newest VFFF members. Nine members of the fourth generation are involved in the Foundation’s work. This “Rising Generation” plays an increasingly active role, bringing important youth voices to our decision making.

Third and fourth generation family members at Weave Youth and Community Services, Waterloo

Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation (VFELF)

The Vincent Fairfax Fellowship (VFF) was established in 1994 to honour Sir Vincent’s express desire to encourage the development of ethical leadership in Australia.

Delivered in partnership with the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, the VFF is a year-long fellowship for senior executives from diverse professional sectors looking to put ethical change into action within their organisations. Through a series of residential modules and individual coaching, Fellows explore the moral challenges that arise in their leadership roles and develop an ethically focused project to embed in their organisation.

During the year, we welcomed Dr Matt Beard as the new Vincent Fairfax Fellowship Program Director. Dr Beard has had an extensive career as a moral philosopher and ethicist, including as a Fellow with the Ethics Centre. He brings a breadth of knowledge, experience, focused energy and innovative thinking to this role.

The 2021 graduation of the 25th cohort was a milestone to celebrate amidst the disruption arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. These graduates join an alumni of more than 350 Fellows from across the nation.

Angus White, grandson of Sir Vincent Fairfax
William White and Kitty Fairfax, fourth generation family members

The balance between obligation and personal enthusiasm is a very positive characteristic of VFFF family activities. Everyone is there due to a level of personal enthusiasm, coupled with a sense of obligation stemming from our admiration for the Founders.”

Family member, third generation.



Acknowledgement of Country

The Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work, and extends this acknowledgement to all Traditional Custodians of nations where we fund organisations and activities. We pay respect to Elders past and present, and to the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that this website may contain images or names of people who have passed away.