The Ross Trust is grateful for the foresight and philanthropy of our benefactor, the late Roy Everard Ross.

Our founder

The Ross Trust was established in Victoria in 1970 by the will of Roy Ross and since its inception it has distributed over $130.5 million allocated to supporting vulnerable Victorians experiencing a range of social, economic, and geographical issues, plus environmental protection and preservation. The Trust has also supported a range of other organisations and issues, which you can explore on this site.

Born in Mansfield in 1899, Mr Ross was the sixth of eight children – Ada, James, Alfred, Olive, Sylvia, Roy, Fred and Hazel – to Hugh and Bessie Ross at the family property Brooklyn in Mansfield Victoria.

Roy Everard Ross was always thinking ahead and planning for the future. The astute investor, who came from the land and started his career as a surveyor and engineer, left his significant fortune in the hands of five trustees with clear instructions to support charitable purposes.

Roy Ross’ career might have focused on the physical infrastructure – as a surveyor, engineer and then quarry owner, designing and building roads, streets and bridges and even swimming pools – but when it came to his forward-thinking philanthropy it seems he wanted to make sure he was helping build the social infrastructure of the state too.

He was ambitious and hard working. He had a knack for ventures which would help bring life and business to smaller towns; not always without controversy. These included markets, hotels, theatres, rental properties and seven farms, along with his quarry ventures.

Mr Ross also had a strong understanding of regional Victoria having lived and worked in Mansfield, Warragul, Dromana, Garfield and the Narracan and Buln Buln Shires. He studied and lived his later life in Melbourne. Much of his fortune was amassed on the back of investments in mining and the media.

By many accounts, Roy Everard Ross was careful and measured with an entrepreneurial spirit, working hard behind the scenes, this may well be the spirit and drive we aim to bring to the Ross Trust as the Trustees and staff seek to deliver on his final wishes.

We thank our partners and grantees who work so hard to ensure the funds provided by the Ross Trust deliver the kinds of outcomes and impacts envisaged by Mr Ross when he left his final instructions in 1969.

More details of the life of Roy Everard Ross, were captured in a biography by Jane Sandilands, commissioned by the Trustees of the R E Ross Trust.

Hillview Quarries

In 1959, Mr Ross founded Bayview Quarries and became Chairman of Directors. After its takeover by Boral Ltd. in 1968, he formed Hillview Quarries Pty. Ltd. to operate an existing quarry at Dromana. Hillview Quarries continues to be owned and operated by the Trust and generates income for distribution by the Trust as charitable grants.

By virtue of his will, the model Roy Ross developed was unique at the time; the only trust in Australia which derived its income from the earnings of a quarry.

Mr Ross knew the financial and infrastructure benefits of developing a quarry in Victoria – both to himself and others. He reconciled his love of plants and trees and passion for conservation with his quarry business. This is the same balance the Trust strives to achieve today and you will see this reflected in its priorities.