Past Board members

Founding Board members

We would like to recognise the important role our founding Board members played and pay respect to Martin Copley who was one of the main drivers behind the establishment of the AEGN.

Sadly, Martin passed away on 30 July 2013.

Our founding Board members were:

Name, FoundationRole
Martin Copley, Spinifex TrustInaugural chair and Board member
Simon Herd, The Myer FoundationTreasurer
Henrietta Marie Fourmile, The Christensen FundBoard member
Steve Mathews, The Mullum TrustPublic officer
Jill Reichstein OAM, Reichstein FoundationChair and Deputy chair
Mark Wootton, Poola FoundationBoard member

Other past Board members

Board members are voted to their position by the membership. All past Board members have played an active role in influencing the good governance and strategic direction of the AEGN. Board positions are voluntary and deep thanks is given to all those who have worked hard to shape the AEGN over the years.

We would like to acknowledge Tara Hunt who sadly passed away on 28 May 2017. Tara was a driving force behind our New South Wales presence, and her joy and wisdom continues to be missed.

Max Bourke AM, The Thomas FoundationBoard member
Dr Colin Brown, Diversicon Environmental FoundationBoard member
Anne Grindrod, The John T Reid Charitable TrustTreasurer and Board member
Tara Hunt, The Hunt FoundationBoard member
Ross Knowles, Ross Knowles FoundationBoard member
Sue Mathews, The Mullum TrustDeputy chair, Public officer and Secretary
John McKinnon, McKinnon Family FoundationDeputy chair and Treasurer
Hayley Morris, Morris Family FoundationBoard member
Dr Barry Traill, Tracker FoundationBoard member
Julia Limb, Limb Family FoundationBoard member
Tracey Steggall, The Horizon FoundationBoard member
Keith Ince, Keith & Jeannette Ince FundChair
Jon Myer, The Myer FoundationBoard member

Vale Martin Copley

Sadly, Martin Copley passed away peacefully on 30 July 2013 at his home in Perth. He spent the last few weeks surrounded by his family. His spirits were lifted by the many messages of love and support from his friends including his Australian Wildlife Conservancy family and environmental funders. 

Martin was involved in thinking about an Australian environmental funders group from around 2000, and he was then involved in shaping the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) at every step of the way.

He was our inaugural chair and helped, with both his wisdom and funding, to set up the AEGN as an influential and effective organisation. Martin’s steady hand was always ready to enjoy and celebrate life with a huge smile, welcoming words, and the odd glass of prosecco.

Many members have fond memories of Martin as we reflect on our field trips we shared with him. His passion for Australian animals was infectious,  and I know he has influenced many of  your environmental funding decisions. It was fitting that the Kimberley field trip finished at Mornington Station. This was one of the first of the significant network of conservation properties Martin established with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

Martin was born in Britain and he became a successful insurance underwriter. He first visited Australia in 1966. In 1991 he purchased a property containing a large area of natural bushland at Chidlow, Western Australia. This is now the Karakamia Sanctuary, for conservation purposes, effectively founding what was to become the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. In 1994 he moved to Australia permanently. Martin is survived by his partner Valentine, three children and six grandchildren.

Martin’s charm and intelligence will be greatly missed in philanthropic and environmental circles. However, Martin’s tremendous legacy – the AEGN, environmental funders and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy will continue to be an inspiration beyond our lifetimes.

AEGN members send their deep condolences to Martin’s family.

Vale Tara Hunt

On Sunday 28 of May 2017, our dear friend and colleague, Tara Hunt passed away peacefully. Tara was an inspirational and passionate advocate for women and girls, action on climate change, protecting our natural world and supporting Indigenous communities.

As a philanthropist, AEGN member and Board member Tara influenced many in the funding community to be bold and generous and to work with community organisations with respect, compassion, and love.

She was a natural leader and although Tara would be the last person to claim that role, many people were drawn to her good judgment, wisdom, and fearlessness.

Tara believed in action and making a difference now.

She led the way in the concept of ‘giving while you are living’ recently spending down her family Private Ancillary Fund, The Hunt Foundation. After diligently exploring the environmental philanthropic field, Tara understood that climate change was an issue of such importance and urgency that she spent down her foundation in the most effective way she knew – by, amongst other things, supporting 1 Million Women.

Tara stepped into her role as a philanthropist with an open mind, a generous heart, a view to learning, and with great courage. She very quickly understood the power of philanthropy as a catalyst, convener, grassroots supporter and changemaker. With this knowledge she became a true leader in the philanthropic sector – encouraging, mentoring, prodding, and pushing all of us to become smart funders and the best of ourselves.
She was always great fun to be with, sharing her ideas, strength, and optimism – always with a cheeky glint in her eye and a kind smile.

Tara helped guide the AEGN to be more strategic, bolder and to open our doors and hearts to new friends, especially in Sydney.

Tara was a beautiful soul and special to many people. She will be greatly missed in the AEGN community.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Tara’s family.

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It’s been exciting to see the growth in sophistication of how the AEGN operates. For the benefit of all.

Hayley Morris, Morris Family Foundation