The first 50 years

The Ross Trust marks 50 years of giving in 2020-21, recognising some major milestones along the way and never forgetting that one person’s good fortune and generosity can lead to shared prosperity and thriving communities. When Roy Everard Ross left directions for how his Trust should be established it may have been hard to predict in just how many ways his philanthropy would be used wisely to help Victorians thrive. This timeline helps tell the story of how the Ross Trust has worked with the Victorian NFP sector and communities around the state, and influenced where we are today.

1971-1975

Theme: Nature conservation, social welfare, education

The Ross Trust’s is established to act as a custodian of the estate of Roy Everard Ross. The first grants – focusing on nature conservation, social welfare and education – lay the foundations for the next 50 years of granting.


1976-1980

Theme: Social welfare, nature conservation

While the Ross Trust continues its focus on nature conservation, including grants to purchase land for national parks, and refines its granting strategy to have less focus on education and more focus on social welfare.


1981-1985

Theme: Young people, the environment

Overview: As the Ross Trust marks its’ first decade of operation, it narrows its social welfare focus to specifically target young people – starting a relationship with support service Taskforce – while continuing to make substantial environmental grants.


1986-1990

Themes: Medical, conservation, education

The Ross Trust helps hospitals purchase vital equipment, continues to fund conservation and environment programs and establishes the Ross Trust Fellowship Program as part of its commitment to education.


1991-1995

Themes: Emergency relief, Arts, Environment

In its third decade, the Ross Trust begins an emergency relief and crisis response granting program, while supporting various Arts programs and continuing to provide environment grants


1996-2000

Theme: Women and children, Environment

The Ross Trust shifts its focus to support women and children, starting a long relationship with a theatre company working with vulnerable people, while continuing to support environmental programs.


2001-2005

Child health, Social Justice, Environment

In 2001, the Ross Trust begins a series of long-term granting partnerships with a focus on child health, Indigenous employment and training and asylum seekers. The Trust makes a significant grant to help purchase the state’s biggest private conservation property.


2006-2010

Themes: Human Rights, Environment, Place Based – Benalla

While maintaining its granting focus on human rights and the environment, the Trust begins its first series of place-based grants, supporting organisations in the region around Benalla.


2011-2015

Themes: Marginalised youth, Environment , Place based – Gippsland

The Ross Trust moves its place-based granting to Gippsland, while continuing to help vulnerable Victorians and the environment – including giving 47 hectares of bushland to become a conservation reserve.


2016-2020

Theme: Biodiversity, Education, Place-based – Mornington Peninsula

The Ross Trust supports homelessness and family violence and launches a five-year focus on Educational Equity and Biodiversity Conservation. The Trust formalises place-based granting on the Mornington Peninsula