• Fairbrother Foundation

The Fairbrother Foundation has been established as a not for profit, Private Ancillary Fund (PAF). Its intent is to provide an avenue for donations from the Fairbrother family, business, employees and other key stakeholders to give back to areas of need in our communities.

The Foundation's core purpose is to support charities that:

  • Facilitate access to quality education, particularly among youth;
  • Support activities or research striving for improved health and wellbeing; and
  • Support initiatives that enrich the communities and environments in which Fairbrother operates, and particularly in which our Fairbrother employees live.


In 2007, Royce and Thea Fairbrother established the Fairbrother Foundation as the vehicle to unite their personal philanthropic goals, and the community spirit of the Fairbrother business and employees. Whilst recognising the significant need for charitable support worldwide, the Foundation’s objectives align with the strong family desire to focus on local causes and needs.

"The motivation for Thea and I to establish the Fairbrother Foundation evolved from our journey discovering the company's core values and our aspirations for the future. Our goal is to persistently strive to build a company of excellence, committed to its core values and a company that leaves an enduring contribution to the communities where its people live and work. The Fairbrother Foundation is our chosen way to achieve that goal."

Initially, the funds donated to the Foundation came solely from the Fairbrother family and business, but in recent years key business partners like Graham Elliott & Associates (now a part of the Steadfast group), and employees have also contributed to the Foundation.

Our Directors

Gaye Rutherford, Chair, BA(Hons), BNutrDiet(Hons), G.A.I.C.D.

The current Chair of the Foundation is Gaye Rutherford (née Fairbrother). Gaye provides a strong family connection for the Foundation, and in addition to being a Foundation Director, also sits on the Board of Fairbrother Pty Ltd. As a mother and Accredited Practising Dietitian, Gaye feels passionate about the Foundation’s focus on education and wellbeing initiatives.

 Thea Fairbrother

As a key driver behind the establishment of the Foundation, it was highly fitting that Thea joined the Foundation Director team in 2016. With her extensive history in financial management at Fairbrother, Thea is the principal accounts manager for the Foundation, and a strong vision driving the Foundation forward.

 Yvonne Rundle B.Bus., F.C.A., G.A.I.C.D., F.T.I.A.

Following a long association with Fairbrother Pty Ltd, Yvonne joined the Board in 2011. As a Chartered Accountant and Non-Executive Director for a number of companies, Yvonne is the Responsible Person for the Foundation and provides an independent perspective with strong governance, financial and strategic insights.

 Kurt Arnold

Kurt commenced his career with Fairbrother Pty Ltd back in 1995 and is currently General Manager of Fairbrother’s Tasmanian operations. Kurt joined the Foundation as a Director in 2016 and provides a valuable connection between the Foundation and the operational aspects of the Company, particularly the employees.

Partners/ Initiatives

The Fairbrother Foundation actively seeks to donate to eligible charities (with Deductible Gift Recipient status) that align with our core purpose.

The Fairbrother Foundation formed a partnership with the UTAS Foundation in 2008 to support young Tasmanians to undertake an undergraduate degree at the University of Tasmania. Since 2008, the UTAS Foundation has awarded a $12,000 Fairbrother Foundation Scholarship to over 15 young Tasmanians, enabling many to successfully undertake university study away from home. To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must have a parent employed by Fairbrother Pty Ltd or Degree C Pty Ltd (an entity owned by Fairbrother) and be entering the first year of their degree. Prior to 1 January 2018, the scholarship provided financial assistance for three years at $4,000 per year, however based on UTAS analysis of student needs, from 2018 the Scholarship was increased to $5,000 per year for 3 years.

The current recipients of the Fairbrother Foundation Scholarship are:

  • Claire Weeding
  • Lily James
  • Mikaela Adams
  • Samuel Bertram

Former recipients have included:

  • Isaac Alford
  • Taylah Dickson
  • Ellen Bennett
  • Thomas Mountney
  • Sandon James
  • Christopher Haines
  • Rebekkah Rundle
  • Melissa Hawksley
  • Olivia Newlands
  • Timothy Cuthbertson
  • Luke Webb
  • Jonathon Haines
  • Sarah Frankcombe
  • Jacinta Butler

The Fairbrother Foundation has also formed key partnerships with:

  • Hobart City Mission (HCM), providing financial support in particular the HCM’s Small Steps Program;
  • Guide Dogs Tasmania (GDT), where the Foundation funds the work of Ambassador Dog Dexter, who is instrumental to GDT’s awareness and fund-raising activities; 
  • Carers Tasmania, an organisation providing much needed support for carers of family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who are frail and aged;
  • Speak up Stay ChatTY, where the Foundation is contributing to Speak Up’s essential and powerful work around promoting positive mental health and suicide prevention; and
  • The Royal Flying Doctors Service, which the Foundation has partnered with to offer a First Year Nursing Scholarship at UTAS to assist a student from a remote or rural location undertake nursing studies.

Employee-Led Donations

The Fairbrother Foundation recognises that it is the quality work of Fairbrother employees that underpins our ability to make charitable donations. Each year employees are consulted regarding charities to support. As a result of this process, the Foundation has had the pleasure of making donations to each of the following charities:

  • Neuroblastoma Australia – nominated by Jackson and Tom Ackerley
  • Australian Cancer Research Foundation – nominated by Michael Caldwell
  • Risdon Vale Bike Collective – nominated by Dylan Graham
  • Beyond Blue – nominated by Richard Skelly
  • Pathways Tasmania – nominated by Kurt Arnold
  • Mates4Mates – nominated by Dave Toohey
  • Cystic Fibrosis Australia – nominated by Brad Van Den Bosch
  • Heartkids Victoria/Tasmania – nominated by Sam Nugent
  • MSResearch Australia – nominated by Shaun Roney
  • Speak Up Stay ChatTY – nominated by Paul Ransley, Carrisa Wells and Billy Edis and his South West Victoria team
  • Camp Quality – nominated by Andrew Burns (Victorian team)
  • Huntington’s Disease Association of Tasmania – nominated by Thea Fairbrother
  • CanTeen – nominated by Richard McGuire
  • Give Me 5 for Kids – nominated by Sheralee Urbanc
  • Legacy – nominated by Natalie Bell
  • Make A Wish Australia – nominated by Jessica Cameron
  • The Smith Family – nominated by Royce Fairbrother
  • Project Whitelion – nominated by Nick Freeman
  • Royal Hobart Research Foundation – nominated by Gaye Rutherford


At the end of December 2018 the Foundation’s accumulated assets surpassed $1 million for the first time. These funds are invested in accordance with the Foundation’s Investment Policy and advice from Shadforth Financial Group. The initial intent of the Foundation was to establish a capital base of $2 million dollars to enable a level of sustainable giving to be created. Whilst we still have some way to go before our capital base reaches this level, the Fairbrother group is committed establishing a sustainable Foundation that via its donations will be able to impact the lives of its employees and the communities in which it operates.

How can you help?

Fairbrother Foundation would love to grow its contributors. Donations from employees can lead to the Foundation being able to significantly impact the lives of people within the communities in which Fairbrother works. Just a small donation out of your pay once a year, monthly or weekly will see the Foundation grow and in turn, the number of charities supported grow. Each year, you can nominate charities that you believe are worthy of support. Studies have shown that people are happier when they give to others. If giving as little as $5.00 can lead to increased wellbeing for the giver, then why not feel better whilst helping others. You can contact the payroll department to arrange a payroll deduction form.