Turning 60

Respecting our legacy and moving with the times

Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Annual Report 2022

The Vincent Fairfax Family, VFFF 60th Anniversary Celebration, June 2022

The Vincent Fairfax Family, VFFF 60th Anniversary Celebration, June 2022



“In strengthening a spirit of unity – in the family, the nation and beyond – young people have an essential part to play, and their enthusiasm needs to be used to the full. 

To help them appreciate their responsibilities to society, both in work and in leisure, and to guide their enthusiasm towards improving the quality of life, not only for themselves but also for others and for future generations, will serve well the whole community and the nation.”

– Sir Vincent Fairfax, Speech at the 94th Annual Meeting of The Boys’ Brigade, 3 December 1976.

Chairman James M. Millar AM and CEO Jenny Wheatley

Organisations celebrate significant milestones to remind their stakeholders of past achievements and highlight future potential. This sentiment holds greater importance when the organisation’s members are an extended family and where family engagement is a pre-requisite for perpetuity of the organisation.

In June 2022, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation (VFFF) celebrated its 60th birthday by gathering three generations of the Fairfax family, ranging in age from (almost) one to 84, for a special evening shared with colleagues and 12 youth focused partners selected by family members to each receive untied funding of $180,000. The celebration reflected the story of 60 years of impactful granting, which moved with the times, while respecting the legacy of our Founders. Family members expressed their gratitude to all who have partnered with them through VFFF to deliver Sir Vincent Fairfax’s hope that it would become a mighty force for distributions and influence.

Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy Fairfax were very much present on the evening of the 60th. They were celebrated for their initiative in establishing VFFF; its successful sharing of legacy stories and assisting in fostering family values.  Sir Vincent was acknowledged as an uncomplicated, humble, good man with solid judgement, and someone who embodied the substance of life; someone who instinctively knew the right thing to do. Lady Nancy was remembered as forward thinking, progressive and enthusiastic, not afraid to confront change.

The content of the FY22 Annual Report reflects how the Founders, and the values they lived continue to underpin all that we do. Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy wished the generations that followed them to be active in the work of the Foundation. As the Foundation turns 60, the Grants Committee, which engages younger members of the family in VFFF’s work turned ten. 16 of the younger family members have facilitated the distribution of $6.35m to 178 organisations over these ten years. The Vincent Fairfax Fellowship, which honours the style of leadership demonstrated by Sir Vincent, is now in its 27th year of growing the ethical leaders in our society who influence our commercial and public sectors. 

The first year of granting under Backing Young People saw $10.3m allocated to values aligned youth focused organisations that passed the “litmus test”. This test asks the Board to consider what Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy would have thought about the goals of the proposed distribution considering the times.  Bush Heritage, Alpha Australia and the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students are directly aligned to causes that were very important to our Founders. Encouraging young people to contribute to their community was core to Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy, and they would have seen this come to life through the Foundation for Young Australians’ Civic & Cultural Engagement Program. We are grateful for, and will continue to honour, the influence of VFFF’s Founders.

It is a particular honour to lead the Board and team in this special year. We thank Directors, team leader David Hardie, who celebrated ten years of outstanding contribution to the Foundation, along with Claire Mannion, Natalie Buckett, Ellen Frith and Peta Rennie. We acknowledge the contribution of Dr May Lam and Camilla Chapman to the Foundation and wish them well in their next adventures. We welcome Lynn Anderson to the team. Lynn will lead our work in exploring opportunities where young people are caring for the environment.

The Foundation is diligently supported by the Cambooya team, and we give particular thanks to Riccardo Briganti, Faris Cosic, Amy Tin, Raveena Paul and Joel Hassin, JANA Asset Consultants, Alicia Gregory and the Cambooya Investment Committee.

As VFFF enters its seventh decade we have a vision of what a just, inclusive, innovative and sustainable Australia looks like. With this vision firmly in focus we will continue to evolve and work together with generations of the Fairfax family to back young people.

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
Left to right: VFFF team members David Hardie, Claire Mannion, Lynn Anderson, Jenny Wheatley, Natalie Buckett, Ellen Frith, Peta Rennie
Left to right: VFFF team members David Hardie, Claire Mannion, Lynn Anderson, Jenny Wheatley, Natalie Buckett, Ellen Frith, Peta Rennie

Family Philanthropy

Backing Young People

Caring for the Environment

Contributing to Society

Decent Work

Exploring Christian Faith and Values




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.