Listening to the Future

Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Annual Report 2023

Anglican Youthworks



The commitment of the descendants of Sir Vincent and Lady Nancy Fairfax to continue their vision of VFFF benefitting and caring for Australians and their country is demonstrated by all family over the age of 18 electing to be Members of the Foundation. We are delighted that three generations of the family contribute actively to VFFF’s work. 

In 2023, VFFF approved $10.6m aligned with our Backing Young People strategic focus areas, committed $1.5m to a new impact investment with HOPE Housing and approved a further $3.7m of mission aligned impact investment opportunities subject to finalisation of terms. We are pleased to see the profile of VFFF’s grant partners evolving, consistent with our desire to increase support to Queensland based organisations as well as to rural and regional communities. The proportion of our granting to organisations in Queensland has increased to 38% and 63% of distributions were directed to rural and regional areas. 

Chairman James M. Millar AM and CEO Jenny Wheatley

During the year VFFF prioritised our direct engagement with young people, particularly those in rural and regional communities, through the Backing the Future initiative and the VFFF Youth Advisory Group (YAG). Directors and team members attended youth focused forums, making valuable contacts which resulted in several new partnerships. A highlight for the Board and team was the robust and respectful discussion that ensued when members of the YAG attended the March 2023 Board meeting. VFFF achieves better outcomes by interacting with young people as this leads to strengthening our work and being genuinely youth informed. 

In September, after a stellar 11 years with VFFF, David Hardie transitioned to the next stage in his career. We acknowledge and thank David for his commitment to listening to communities, his understanding and encouragement for those on the front line of not-for-profit organisations and the purposeful development of the skills of Fairfax family members. We wish David happiness, inspiring travels and more time to spend with family and friends. 

Claire Mannion stepped up with enthusiasm and energy to the role of Foundation Manager and is well supported by Natalie Buckett, Lynn Anderson and Ellen Frith. We thank the team for amplifying the voices of young people as they implement VFFF’s strategy.  

We formally express our appreciation to VFFF Directors, Trustee Emeritus Geoffrey White OAM and for the professional services provided by the Cambooya team, particularly Riccardo Briganti, Faris Cosic, Peta Rennie and Cambooya Investment Committee Members.

In December 2023, the Foundation will welcome Rosemary Vilgan as Chair. Rosemary joined the Board in 2020 and is a member of the Cambooya Investment Committee. We are excited about the contribution Rosemary will make in this role to VFFF and its Members. Rosemary’s focus on fulfilling the vision of our Founders has been clear throughout her involvement with VFFF and we look forward to her guidance as we deliver the second half of our Backing Young People strategy.

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

Thank you James

"For the past 14 years VFFF has benefitted from the passion, wisdom, financial and intellectual expertise of James Millar. Assuming the role of Chair in 2017, James encouraged strong governance, a professional and kind approach to our work, alignment with strategy, learnings from failures and celebrating outcomes achieved. James’ call for the Board and Team to be catalytic will remain with us into the future."

"During his time as VFFF Chair, James Millar oversaw approvals of $72.3m and an increase in the Corpus by $24.4m. James demonstrated the importance of understanding purpose, listening deeply and being accessible to VFFF Members and the Team. Every conversation with James added value to our work and we are grateful for his understanding of the unique characteristics of a family foundation."

"The Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Foundation (where I joined the family board nearly 16 years ago), and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, are powerful voices for good. Often acting very quietly but able to effect profound change for the better. To have been part of seeing dreams being realised, and lives being changed has been a privilege for me, as it is for every director. To listen to people, read or hear their stories, and not just assume that we have the right answers has been a fantastic learning process for me and for us all over the years. To witness, and be part of the Fairfax family showing its care for others, backed by both time, talent and money, has been a shining example to me as it should be for others."

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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.