Meet our Campaign Council and Patrons
Our volunteer Campaign Council and Patrons are committed to advancing the mission of the Change It. For Future Generations. campaign. Meet the members who are raising the profile of philanthropy through their own transformational giving and leadership.
Dr Roger Gillespie OAM, Campaign Chair
One of Melbourne’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Roger is co-founder of Bakers Delight with his wife and Monash alumna, Lesley Gillespie OAM.
The Gillespie Family Foundation supports a range of causes, including the World Mosquito Program, which is working to protect the global community from devastating mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever. Since joining the Campaign Council, the Gillespie family has renewed their commitment to the World Mosquito Program. Roger is also a member of the World Mosquito Program Philanthropy Advisory Council.
Roger was made an Honorary Fellow of Monash in 2015 and is a proven champion of the transformative power of philanthropy through the University. He actively advocates for how to collectively create positive change, speaking at events such as the Monash Global Leaders’ Summit, and engaging people within and beyond his network. As Campaign Chair will provide leadership to further accelerate Monash’s progress towards achieving the Change It. For Good. Campaign goals by 2022.
Professor Margaret Gardner AC
As President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner’s elevation of philanthropy and alumni engagement has inspired hundreds of people to make gifts of scale and impact to the University. During her tenure, more people have made a gift to Monash than ever before, and the University has received more gifts of $1m+ during the Campaign to date than in the rest of its 60-year history combined.
Professor Gardner’s championing of equity scholarships has led to extraordinary growth of enrolments among students from disadvantaged backgrounds, greatly contributing to the University’s broader goal of becoming Victoria’s largest driver of social mobility.
In 2018, Professor Gardner was honoured with the CASE Asia-Pacific Advancement Leadership Award, recognising her personal and strategic commitment to ensuring philanthropy and alumni engagement are placed at the heart of what we do at Monash.
Simon McKeon AO
Simon McKeon is Chancellor of Monash University, and was former Executive Chairman (Melbourne Office) of Macquarie Group, where he continues to be retained as a consultant.
Mr McKeon’s counsel is sought from the public, private and charity sector on wide-ranging subjects from sailing to medical research. He is a highly respected figure in Victoria’s philanthropic community, and as Founding Campaign Chair, his vision is to inspire a growing community to create transformational
Natasha Bowness is an Executive Director of Wilbow Group, a private family investment business operating in Australia and the US. Its activities include property development and financing, listed and unlisted investments and private equity. She holds a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University and is a Chartered Accountant formerly with PricewaterhouseCoopers. She has extensive experience in property development, governance, strategy, risk, business management, audit and finance.
Ms Bowness has had a long association with philanthropy. She is Chair of the Bowness Family Foundation which supports arts and culture, education and disability and includes a focus on providing access and opportunity to the broader community. Ms Bowness is a member of The Australian Ballet Foundation Board and President of the Australian Ballet Annual Giving Program. She is a Director of Zoos Victoria and Chair of the Monash Gallery of Art Committee of Management.
Dr Mark Cubit
Dr Mark Cubit is Chair of the Monash University Investment Advisory Committee and was a member of Monash University Council from 2014 to 2019. In his prior life he held the position of Managing Director, Australian Equities at Merrill Lynch Australia before moving into the ‘not-for-profit’ world in 2003, volunteering at The Smith Family for three years and serving on the boards of a number of domestic charities.
Today Dr Cubit spends much of his time focussed on international philanthropy. He spends six to eight weeks a year visiting over 60 offshore projects supported by the Cubit Family Foundation and Planet Wheeler Foundation. Since 2015 Mark has been a founding Director of Partners For Equity, an innovative charity which enhances the ability of Australians to support projects internationally in over 20 countries.
Dr Cubit is Chairman of the East African Fund, the Australian support arm of The School of St Jude and is also a Director of the Tanzanian based charity.
James Hawkins is Partner and Head of the L1 Capital Catalyst Fund. James has over 20 years of principal investing, investment banking and corporate advisory experience in Melbourne and New York at L1 Capital, Flagstaff Partners, Macquarie Group and Clayton Utz.
Mr Hawkins has a close affinity with Monash University. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Major in Finance), lived on campus at Mannix College during his first two years at university and is a Life Member of the Monash Blues Football Club, having played nearly 200 games of football during and after attending university.
Mr Hawkins is a long-time donor to the Monash Blues Football Club and the Faculty of Law with a special interest in supporting students to reach their full potential.
Amongst other achievements, Mr Hawkins is a Royal Humane Society of Australasia Bronze Medal Bravery Award recipient.
David Li AM
David Li is an entrepreneur and company director, with more than thirty years of experience in property development, building material manufacturing and financial management, and was formerly a professional classical musician.
Prior to his business career, Mr Li was a violinist and performed with prominent orchestras in China and Australia. David is a board director of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, board member of 3 MBS Radio Corporation and major patron and production partner of Opera Australia.
Currently involved in the arts and education as a philanthropist, Mr Li has made contributions to all the major Melbourne and national arts institutions. He is keenly committed to fostering cultural exchange and communication.
Karl Redenbach is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LiveTiles, an award-winning Microsoft Partner and global software company that specialises in Employee Experience Platforms.
Since the company was founded in 2014 with a focus on Intranets, LiveTiles has established a global footprint of employees and expanded its product suite for small and large organisations across all industry verticals.
Mr Redenbach holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from Monash University. Before COVID-19, LiveTiles regularly hosted Monash students at its New York and London offices as part of the Global Discovery Program. He was named 46th on the 2016 BRW Young Rich List and joint 2014 CEO of the Year by the Australian Human Resources Institute. He was also named amongst the top 50 SaaS CEOs in 2018.
Mary Vallentine AO
Mary Vallentine has had an extensive career in arts management with executive roles at Musica Viva Australia, Adelaide Festival and State Theatre Company of S.A. She was Managing Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for seventeen years prior to her appointment as CEO of Melbourne Recital Centre (2010-16).
She became a Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow of Monash University in 2017. Ms Vallentine is Classical Music Advisor and Opera Producer for the Adelaide Festival.
Apart from her role on the Monash Campaign Council, Ms Vallentine is a director of The Myer Foundation, Malthouse Theatre, Flinders Quartet, Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra, Naomi Milgrom Foundation and Ukaria Cultural Foundation.
Ms Vallentine was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to music in 1986.
Dr Jane Oppenheim
Jane Oppenheim is the Scientific and Operations Director of Ego Pharmaceuticals. Jane leads a team of over 300 people in Science and Operations.
As Scientific and Operations Director, Jane has developed the team to ensure Ego has an inspired group of professionals ready to take on the challenges of continuous growth through improved productivity in a continually expanding facility.
Jane has led scientific development of dermatological products at Ego for 3 decades with five product ranges being market leaders in Australia. Product ranges that are market leaders include Head Lice, Sun Protection and Therapeutic skin care. Jane has run and now takes an active interest in the multiple clinical and other efficacy studies to support the therapeutic claims of the products.
Jane has led the marketing authorisation and managing compliance with pharmaceutical regulations in 14 countries including UK, Middle East and Asia.
Jane leads the quality assurance team, driving process improvement for better quality and efficiency.
In manufacturing her leadership has met the needs of 12% average compound growth in units over a decade. This growth rate has entailed a substantial building program, including a facility to manufacture flammable products such as Aqium Hand Sanitiser, a specialised facility to handle smaller run products and a complete refurbishment of the older manufacturing facility to run large scale products efficiently. All manufacturing facilities have been designed around Industry 4.0 principles. Building projects have also included a global headquarters in Dandenong with a global distribution centre. Building works continue with plans to build new manufacturing facilities at the Dandenong site over the next 5 years.
Jane is enthusiastic about sustainability. Jane oversees projects to ensure that Ego Pharmaceuticals is impacting positively on the environment in which they operate. Current programs include the minimisation of both water and energy usage through a series of directed projects. It is Jane’s ambition for Ego to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.
Jane has a strong belief that Australia needs a sustainable, robust, high technology manufacturing industry. She believes in creating employment for professionals, upskilling employees so that they can grow and have job satisfaction in an industry she passionately believes adds value to society.
Jane has a Bachelor of Science with Honours (Biochemistry) and a PhD from Monash University. Following her PhD, Jane took up a postdoctoral fellowship in immunoparasitology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, where she was involved in researching candidate molecules for a malaria vaccine.
Patrick Loftus-Hills is a Metals and Mining investment banker focused on mergers, acquisitions and capital markets advisory assignments at Moelis & Company. He is also a Non-Executive Director with extensive finance, legal and technical skill sets in global metals and mining.
Born in country Western Australia, Patrick graduated in Science and Law from Monash University in 1990. He joined Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) the following year and in 1994 joined the legal department of BHP. In 1998 he joined Macquarie Bank in Sydney as an investment banker before moving to UBS in 2000. He transferred with UBS to New York in 2004 and to Hong Kong in 2007 before returning to New York in 2011 when he joined Moelis & Company.
With over 35 years of experience, Patrick has advised almost every major global mining company on a range of transactions, including cross border M&A, capital raisings and restructurings. He has also completed numerous significant financial advisory transactions for companies listed on all of the major stock exchanges globally.
Patrick is currently a Managing Member of Sweetwater Royalties LLC, an Orion Resource Partners portfolio company, and contributes extensively to not-for-profit causes, including as Chairman of the Monash University US Leadership Council; Co-Chairman of the US Friends of the Australian Chamber Orchestra; and Vice Chairman of the AUS USA Foundation.
Marc Besen AC and the late Eva Besen AO
Marc Besen has been a retailer and property developer for more than 50 years, and the driving force behind the Sussan Group, Highpoint Shopping Centre, and the TarraWarra Estate Winery and Museum of Art in the Yarra Valley.
Together with his wife Eva, the couple established the Besen Family Foundation to build on their tradition of philanthropy. At the core of the foundation is the involvement of family members and the desire to encourage a spirit and culture of giving which can be developed and handed on to future generations.
In 2014, Marc and Eva Besen contributed $1m to the Bionic Eye Project, a research game changer in treating vision impairment.
Dr Alan Finkel AC and Dr Elizabeth Finkel AM
Australia’s former Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel was previously Chancellor of Monash University the President of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Awarded his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Monash University, Dr Finkel has built an extensive career as an entrepreneur, engineer, neuroscientist and educator, and is now a leading philanthropist alongside his wife Elizabeth. He was the first Monash alumnus to become Chancellor of his alma mater.
Dr Elizabeth Finkel is an award-winning journalist and one of the founders of Cosmos Magazine. She has written several highly-acclaimed books and her work has appeared in publications across the world.
The Alan and Elizabeth Finkel Foundation has made inspired and transformational gifts to Monash over many years – from indigenous cultural preservation to global public health – testament to the University’s diverse capacity to influence change, for good.
Dr John Gandel AC and Dr Pauline Gandel AC
John Gandel AC is an Australian businessman, property developer and retail pioneer who has wide-ranging interests in commercial real estate and shopping centres across Melbourne. He and his wife Pauline are active philanthropists recognised for their commitment to health, education, the arts, Jewish identity and community causes.
The Gandel family has a close connection with Monash – three generations hold Monash degrees, including John's and Pauline’s honorary doctorates conferred in 2014. The family currently support Monash scholarships for Indigenous and disadvantaged students through their foundation, Gandel Philanthropy, one of Australia’s largest independent philanthropic funds.
Dr Lesley Gillespie OAM
Lesley and Roger, along with their children Aaron and Elise and their spouses, Meghan Gillespie and David Christie, founded the Gillespie Family Foundation. The Gillespie family has always been committed to working for the good of the wider community, through philanthropy, action, and advocacy.
In 2014, the Gillespie Family Foundation began to support the World Mosquito Program, which aims to eliminate mosquito-borne diseases, particularly dengue fever and Zika virus. The program, which has eliminated transmission of dengue in areas of Far North Queensland, reaches more than three million people across 12 countries, aims to expand its operations to 16 of the top endemic countries for these diseases by 2023. The Gillespie Family Foundation renewed their commitment to the World Mosquito Program in 2019. Lesley is Chair of the World Mosquito Program Philanthropy Advisory Council.
Lady Primrose Potter AC
Lady Primrose Potter is synonymous with Australian philanthropy. Currently the Life Governor of the Ian Potter Foundation, her work as one of Australia’s most prominent philanthropists and arts administrators has had a profound impact on our society.
The Ian Potter Foundation was founded by Lady Potter’s late husband Sir Ian Potter, a visionary in business and philanthropy. Monash University has received continuous support from the foundation for the arts, medical research and environmental initiatives.
Most notably, the Ian Potter Foundation is the major benefactor for the redevelopment of the Alexander Theatre and provision of two new arts venues, all under one roof and to open in early 2019 as the Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts at the heart of the cultural precinct on Monash’s Clayton Campus.
Jeanne Pratt AC
Jeanne Pratt is a distinguished Australian who has made her mark in business, philanthropy, the arts, and public service. She migrated to Australia from Poland in 1939 with her Jewish refugee parents. Following a career in journalism, she became a director of the packaging, paper and recycling company, Visy Industries, after her marriage to Richard Pratt.
Mrs Pratt has devoted much of her life to active community service through her support of a variety of philanthropic and arts activities. She and her late husband established Pratt Philanthropies in Melbourne in 1978, which has since become one of the largest philanthropic bodies in Australian history.
The Pratt Foundation supports a prestigious musical theatre artists in residence program at Monash University, among many other transformative initiatives.
Peter Scanlon AO and Angie Scanlon
Peter and Angie Scanlon are major supporters of endeavours that celebrate diversity and strengthen our communities. Mr and Mrs Scanlon recognise that the defining characteristic of Australia’s economic growth and the richness of its community depends on the successful settlement in Australia of people from all over the world.
The Scanlon Foundation has partnered with Monash to deliver a series of detailed surveys on social cohesion and population issues. The first set of its kind in Australia, the surveys contain a decade of insights into public opinion on social cohesion, trust, immigration, asylum seekers, and ethnic, cultural and religious diversity.