Our History


The Foundation was established in 1965 with a bequest from respected Shepparton businessman, Sir Andrew Fairley and his wife Mineta. As Managing Director of Shepparton Preserving Company Ltd (SPC), Sir Andrew created what by the mid-1960s was the largest fruit canning complex in the southern hemisphere. In 1927 he became the first Mayor of Shepparton and from 1948 the first Mayor of the City of Greater Shepparton.

According to his instructions, the Fairley Foundation is for the benefit of the people and communities of the Greater Shepparton area. Over the last 50 years, the Foundation has been recognised as a trusted voice in the community, influential in many areas of local life: education, employment, the arts, health, sport and social justice.

Founder & Philanthropist


Our Strategy

By our very structure we are a place based funder; we are mandated to fund only in Greater Shepparton. Our vision is for momentous social and cultural change. More tangibly, our aspiration is to see

  • more children developmentally ready when they start school;
  • fewer young people disengaged from school;
  • greater rates of engagement by young people who have finished school in training or work;
  • reduced rates of alcohol related harm;
  • a thriving arts community with increased levels music education;
  • greater tolerance of difference across all minority groups and
  • especially greater respect and accord with our Indigenous communities.

Our grants program supports initiatives within these aspirations.

Our strategy is to support local change agents, local community leaders to lead the change that is needed and that they articulate on behalf of their communities. But as a small foundation we can’t do it all, so we have a very distinct role to play. We use our local knowledge and connections to leverage support from a wider range of people and organisations. As a local presence we are a catalyst for social change that is implemented by local people.

We find these local change agents by proactively getting to know the community, listening carefully to people in a wide range of positions, from the grass roots workers supporting people living on the river bank to the Shire CEO; from the local primary school teacher to the Corporate Board member; from the volunteer at the local food relief agency to the Festival performers and from the newly arrived migrant to the young person disillusioned with life and what they see before them.

  • We run a small grants program;
  • We receive enquires at any time;
  • We meet people face to face and in their environment so we can more clearly understand the issues they are seeking to address and the means by which they seek do so;
  • Small grants often lead to bigger grants, perhaps from the Foundation or from others who become our Change Partners and whom we work closely with – we may have a number of funding partners around a specific initiative;
  • As the key contact, we manage the reporting to all funders which streamlines it for the community organisation and means funders are fully up to date with progress and outcomes;
  • We measure change according to each project or initiative – change may seem tiny but in fact is very significant for that community situation. It is usually incremental and often with pitfalls on the way. In dealing with long term, systemic challenges, change too will be long term, so small wins are ok and are celebrated. We are in it for the long haul, as our inspirational community leaders are too.
  • See here for our granting guidelines

Foundation Team

Amanda McCulloch, Executive Officer

Amanda is an experienced tourism and event professional, having worked on large scale regional events and marketing campaigns for State Government, Local Government, private enterprise and the non-for-profit sector.

With a Masters in Marketing and Bachelor of Communications, Amanda has honed her skills in community engagement, social policy and philanthropy through various leadership roles in the Greater Shepparton community over the past 15 years, including as General Manager of the Shepparton Festival and co-founder of Lady Boss Events.

A board member of the Goulburn Regional Partnership and former board member of Australian Regional Tourism Network, Goulburn River Valley Tourism and awarded the Australian Young Regional Tourism Achiever (2011) Amanda established her consultancy practice Big Rocks Consulting out of a desire to make cultural change in regional areas.

Amanda is a mother to three young children Madelyn, Hunter and Xavier and has settled in to Shepparton life with her husband Matthew.

Board of Trustees


Andrew Fairley AM
LLB (Melb)  Hon Doc (Deakin)

Andrew Fairley practises as a Commercial Lawyer at Hall & Wilcox in Melbourne.  He has a long involvement with the philanthropic sector, and has been Chair of the Fairley Foundation since 1999.  He is a great-nephew of Sir Andrew Fairley.

He is also Chair of the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education, and Deputy Chair of the Mornington Peninsula Foundation.

He is a recognised leader in the financial services sector, Chairing Equip Super and Catholic Super with combined assets of $27b.  He is a Director of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, and a Director of Qualitas Securities Pty Ltd.  He follows in the long tradition of his family in the fruit industry, and owns and operates a cherry farm in the Yarra Valley.


Terry Campbell AO
Terry Campbell AO is a great-nephew of the late Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley, for whom the foundation is named. Terry is Senior Chairman of Goldman Sachs, the global and investment banking firm. He is also Chairman of Australian Foundation Investment Company (AFIC) and Mirabooka Investments Limited.

He is a supporter of corporate social responsibility through contributions to community and charitable organisations. He is also a strong advocate of Australian Business Participation in the Arts, and is the Vice Chair of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation.

Carmel Johnson
Carmel Johnson has been living and working in the Goulburn Valley for more than 35 years. During this time Carmel has primarily worked in fundraising and community relations roles, and with her Special Education qualifications, served as the inaugural Principal of Verney Road Special School and later as Manager at Connect GV in Shepparton.

Carmel’s current role is as Director of the GV Health Foundation, assisting the GV Health Board and Executive with financial and philanthropic support to ensure that the community of the Goulburn Valley is well served.

She was the inaugural Chair of the Shepparton Arts Festival and serves on a number of corporate and community boards.

Carmel is Deputy Chair of the Foundation.

Jim Freemantle, Advisor

James (Jim/Jamie) Freemantle, is a grandnephew of Sir Andrew and Lady Fairley.

James is a Company Director and former banker and has been the Chairman and Director of a number of public , private and government organizations.

Over the past 15 years his particular interest has been in the not for profit sector particularly the provision of affordable housing and employment of people with disabilities.

Fiona Phillips
Fiona is the daughter of Rosemary Hopkins (nee Fairley) and was appointed a Trustee in December 2013.

Fiona has taught in and through music in a variety of educational and community settings in regional Victoria. Her work with Early Years and Primary School practicing and pre-service teachers is significant and she currently holds the position of Associate Lecturer in Arts Education at Deakin University, Geelong.

Her research and scholarship has focused on the ongoing practices of exploring new pedagogies, to inform and facilitate change in Arts Education (Music) within a located, cloud-based and virtual teaching and learning environment. She loves to sing and help others find their voice.

Andrew Mott

Andrew Mott has been involved in music education for 30 years with experience in both regional and metropolitan schools and across numerous government and independent school music programs. He undertook a two year stint in Michigan, USA, completing a Masters in Music. In recent years, he has served as Director of Music at Blackburn High School and as the Head of Music, Caulfield Campus, Caulfield Grammar.

He has a particular interest in the development of music ensemble performance and has worked in all areas across symphony orchestras to jazz big bands. In 2008 Andrew conceived and staged the 80th birthday celebrations for Australian jazz luminary, Don Burrows, which was filmed by ABC TV. He has also served as a member of the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Music Board and on the AMEB Examinations Advisory Board, representing government schools at various times. He continues to be active in the field of
Australian music education and creating opportunities for young musicians.

Georgina Fairley

Georgina has been practising Architecture for six years, following completion of her Masters of Architecture in 2010. Her current focus is on design for community and learning in both metropolitan and regional areas. With interests ranging across a wide range of subjects, Georgina keenly seeks ways to engage with the world around her, from further education and attending local events to volunteering.

Anna Turnbull

Anna Turnbull is a Goulburn Valley community-member, appointed trustee in 2019. She is a communications specialist with a Bachelor of Arts (political science). Working initially in newspapers as a reporter, she has gone on to develop her knowledge of the water industry and natural resource management through various media and communications roles in the Shepparton region.

Her past board roles include the Rodney Neighbourhood Steiner Kindergarten and Shepparton Arts Festival. Anna is a current board member for the Greater Shepparton Foundation.

Anna grew up in Melbourne, but since 2002, she has lived on the Turnbull family orchard, with her husband Chris. They have three young children. 

Passionate about enabling regional access to the arts Anna values Shepparton’s relentless community spirit and innovative thought making this challenge a reality. She is grateful for the opportunity and unique lifestyle this rural setting provides.

Michael McIlroy

Michael is an experienced commercial and property Lawyer and is a Director of Shepparton’s oldest law firm, Camerons Lawyers.

With a bachelor’s degree in Commerce (Accounting) and in Law, Michael has leant upon his prior experience operating Hospitality businesses to combine his past business experience and tuition to become a trusted Lawyer for local business in the Goulburn Valley community.  

Michael has been involved with various sporting clubs in the Goulburn Valley, along with lecturing Business Law and Environmental Law at the La Trobe University Shepparton campus.