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50 years provides an opportunity to look back

12 Dec 2020

This year marks 50 years since the death of our benefactor, Roy Everard Ross.

We are in our 50th year of values-driven grant making and as we prepare to mark this significant milestone, we have taken the opportunity to look back through our history at a wonderful array of projects and reflect on the achievements of many of our grantees. 

As part of his Will, Mr Ross left all his property and investments to the Ross Trust, with the income derived from the assets to be used for charities and charitable purposes.

Ever since its inception, the Ross Trust has sought to stay true to its purpose, as set out by the late Mr Ross. 

The Ross Trust is a perpetual charitable trust with a purpose to create positive social and environmental change so Victorians can thrive.

Since making its first grants in 1971, the Ross Trust and its wholly owned subsidiary Hillview Quarries, have distributed nearly $139 million to organisations supporting vulnerable Victorians, particularly children and young people experiencing a range of social, economic and geographical challenges, plus environmental protection and preservation across Victoria. 

Mr Ross was an astute investor and entrepreneur, who came from the land and was at various times a surveyor, local government engineer, naval officer and quarry owner. Much of Mr Ross’ wealth was made from investments in mining and the media.

Through its grantees, partners and collaborators, the Trust’s impact has ranged from helping acquire land for national parks, to supporting low-income families, enabling human rights advocacy, working with Indigenous communities and assisting with bushfire relief and recovery. 

In the coming year, we will celebrate 50 years of the Trust by highlighting some of the key achievements over the past five decades. 

We look forward to sharing some of the stories of the philanthropic gifts which have helped in the early days of organisations like Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Brotherhood of St Laurence and more. 

Here is just a taste of a timeline we will release in 2021: 

  • 1974$30,000 land acquisition grant made to the Trust for Nature for the purchase of land at Mallacoota to be included in the Mallacoota Inlet National Park and for the purchase of land for inclusion in the Brisbane Ranges National Park. This was the first of several land acquisition grants to the Trust for Nature. 

  • 1981Australian Conservation Foundation – $300,0000 contribution to the Information and education centre at Wilsons Promontory National Park. 

  • 2001-2013 – Centre for Non-Violence Inc – grants totalling over $1 million for the ‘Solving the Jigsaw: Changing the Culture of Violence’,  to work with students, teachers, parents and the whole school community to change the culture of violence and build a culture of wellbeing.

  • 2002 – Partnership with the Trust for Nature to purchase Neds Corner, now the state's biggest privately held conservation property, and return it to its natural state after 153 years of pastoral enterprise. Making an overall commitment to of $1 million to the restoration of Neds Corner.

  • 2003-2020 – Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, 14 grants totalling $1.9 million towards capacity building.

  • 2009-2018Tomorrow Today Foundation – grants totally just over $1 million provided to the Education Benalla program as part of a place-based commitment. 

Throughout the 50 years, there have been contributions to important infrastructure and social projects across the Mornington Peninsula, formalised more recently with a new 10-year place-based commitment. 

Keep an eye out for more stories about our grant recipients in 2021.