23 September 2023

Highly credentialled Kirk to lead Goulburn investment fund aimed at ongoing giving

| John Thistleton
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three people sitting on park benches

Maggie Patterson, Richard Kearins and Bob Kirk have been elected to executive positions on a new community foundation in Goulburn to establish an investment fund with ongoing benefits for the region. Photo: John Thistleton.

Goulburn community stalwart Bob Kirk has been elected as chairman of a new foundation focused on enduring benefits for the local region.

A former manager of the Commonwealth Bank in Goulburn and with a strong background in civic and sporting affairs, including as mayor and deputy mayor, Mr Kirk heads up a committee of eight members with a range of skills to develop the philanthropic organisation, known as the Southern Tablelands Community Foundation.

It will operate within a similar framework to the highly successful Upper Lachlan Foundation, which recently celebrated attaining $1 million in its investment fund and granting more than $320,000 to its community since establishing 12 years ago.

“I am excited to be leading a group of like-minded people who aim to engage with community organisations and work collaboratively to help those most in need,” Mr Kirk said.

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Maggie Patterson, who is restoring and repurposing the former St Joseph’s Orphanage with her husband Darryl, is secretary of the foundation.

Richard Kearins, a founding member of the Upper Lachlan Foundation, is treasurer. The remaining committee members are Bruce Hammond, Mark Collins, John Thistleton, Mick Cooper, George Brenan and Justin Gay.

“We have a diverse group with a depth of experience in the private and public sectors, property sector, the arts, health and media,” Mr Kirk said. “We aim to raise money from memberships, donations, corporate partnerships and bequests to grow the foundation in perpetuity.”

Mr Kearins, who spent 45 years with NSW Agriculture, said those funds would be invested under the oversight of the Public Trustee for the ACT, and the income generated by these investments distributed to applicants in the Goulburn Mulwaree region annually.

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“This has worked successfully in building resilience in the Upper Lachlan region ever since its foundation was established in severe drought, and we will focus on addressing the needs of groups otherwise overlooked in our community,” Mr Kearins said.

The foundation’s core business is raising community investment funds, investing them in perpetuity, and equitably distributing investment earnings to community-based organisations.

The foundation’s vision for the Goulburn Mulwaree is: “Creating a brighter future through giving.”

Its objectives are:

  • Establish gifting opportunities for local employers and employees;
  • Provide grants and other forms of assistance, from the earnings, to eligible community groups;
  • Work with community to identify wellbeing problems and possible solutions;
  • Raise community funds from gifts, donations, partnerships and bequests to invest in perpetuity;
  • Generate links with corporate donors to support our community.

Keep an eye on updates from the foundation via their Facebook page.

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