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$1 Million Gift from The Little Foundation Launches MTC Foundation

17 Feb 2016

Melbourne Theatre Company launched its Foundation with the announcement of a $ 1 million gift from The Little Foundation, the largest single donation from a private donor in MTC’s history.

The landmark gift will be used to create a general endowment fund to help realise the vision of securing a strong, sustainable and artistically vibrant future for MTC.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor and MTC Board Member Professor Glyn Davis AC officially launched the MTC Foundation at an event hosted by Jane Hansen, Chair of the MTC Foundation and The Little Foundation, and her husband Paul Little AO.

‘This gift is a true milestone for MTC and a wonderful act of philanthropic leadership from The Little Foundation. The MTC Foundation marks the beginning of an exciting time for the Company and the broader community who stand to reap the benefits of a stable and enriched state theatre company that is at the heart of Melbourne’s art and culture sector,’ Professor Davis said.

The Little Foundation, established by Jane Hansen and Paul Little in 2015, is a philanthropic body built on the values and methods the couple applied in their successful corporate careers. It is a large-scale, active philanthropic undertaking that has the singular objective of leaving a legacy of significant and positive change.
MTC Foundation Chair Jane Hansen said, ‘Theatre inspires imagination and innovation, teaches us to be compassionate, and can challenge our beliefs and perceptions. It brings people together, sparks discussion and debate and helps people learn about the world in which we live. The Little Foundation is proud to support organisations like MTC that have real, positive impact on the community and people’s lives.

‘As Chair of the MTC Foundation I know that the Company has exciting plans for the future but it needs ongoing support to help make them happen. The Foundation board and I will be working to ensure this iconic institution’s core business can continue to thrive and the Company’s dreams turn into reality,’ Ms Hansen said.

The newly established MTC Foundation has been set up to assist the Company in attracting major philanthropic support so that many important aspects of its core business such as play readings, new writing commissions and family and education programs, all of which are primarily funded by donations, can continue.

Terry Moran AC, Chair of MTC, said ‘As the inaugural MTC Foundation Chair, Jane Hansen’s dedication, drive and commitment to helping the Company achieve a bright future is evident not only from The Little Foundation’s generous gift, but also from her day-to-day leadership and passion for the Arts.

‘Philanthropic funding is increasingly vital to the sustainability of arts institutions in Australia so the MTC Foundation has a very important role to play. Under the guidance of Jane and her fellow board members, the MTC Foundation is in excellent hands to strengthen, grow and develop the mutually rewarding relationships between MTC and its donors in order for the Company to reach its artistic vision,’ Mr Moran said.

MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said, ‘We are extremely fortunate to have the generous support from individuals like Jane and Paul who truly understand and advocate the value of supporting the Arts. The passion and vision of philanthropic leaders is integral to bringing our artistic ambitions to life and ensuring MTC, and Melbourne, remain vibrant and culturally stimulating.’

MTC Executive Director Virginia Lovett said, ‘A gift of this magnitude will have a profound effect. The benefit will flow through the sector – it will enable more plays to be written, more creatives to be employed and greater access for the wider community.’

Four new trustees of the MTC Foundation were also announced at the launch event – Dr Samuel Margis, Louise Myer, Hilary Scott and Richard Tegoni.

These four new members join Chair Jane Hansen, Terry Bracks, Fiona Griffiths, Janette Kendall, and Leigh O’Neill on the Foundation’s governing board to encourage and manage MTC’s development funds.