In 2015, the MTC Foundation introduced the Lifetime Patron Awards to acknowledge and celebrate MTC’s most loyal and extraordinary supporters, and their astonishing generosity that has enriched the arts throughout Victoria and Australia.
This year we are thrilled to bestow this very special honour upon Derek Young AM and Caroline Young, and the late Biddy Ponsford in recognition of their immense contribution to MTC and as our appreciation of their incredible support.
Derek Young AM first became involved with MTC when he was head of Accenture in the early nineties, occasionally entertaining clients with theatre nights, and later when his company became a Production Sponsor. This led to him joining the MTC Board of Management in 1994. MTC owes an enormous debt to Derek for his outstanding service to the Company during the nineteen years he served on the Board including the last eight as an inspiring and committed Chair.
Throughout this period, and since retiring from the Board in 2013, Derek and Caroline have continued to take a leadership role in their philanthropic support of MTC and remain close and extremely valued members of the MTC family. We are incredibly grateful to them both for their significant contribution to the theatre’s capital campaign, helping to build Southbank Theatre, which is the envy of the country.
Biddy Ponsford was a passionate individual who was part of the MTC family since the very early days. Having regularly attended the Company’s productions Biddy joined the MTC Society in 1984 and was a loyal Leading Member of CentreStage. Biddy’s love of the theatre was born out of performing plays at school, was confirmed during the years she worked at Melbourne Little Theatre and was indulged when she spent a year in England with her husband Murn soon after they married.
When interviewed in 2013 for our supporter’s magazine Biddy expressed that the MTC had always felt like home and fondly recalled her time volunteering on the MTC Society Committee. We are honoured to have received Biddy’s sustained and most generous support and her MTC family misses her dearly. We extend our gratitude to Biddy’s family who attended the recent Season 2017 Preview for Donors to receive MTC’s highest donor honour on her behalf.
MTC Executive Director Virginia Lovett said, ‘These three inspiring individuals are among MTC’s greatest supporters and advocates. It is wonderful to be recognising the invaluable contributions they have each made to the Company and marking our endless appreciation for their support with this very special award.’
Derek and Caroline, and the family of Biddy Ponsford receive a handmade gold lapel pin, compliments of MTC Corporate Partner Kozminsky.
Biddy, Derek and Caroline join our five inaugural Lifetime Patrons – Roger Riordan AM, Joan Clemenger AO, Peter Clemenger AO, Allan Myers AO QC and Maria Myers AO – without their vision and generosity MTC would not be where it is today.