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Our Board of Directors have wide experience in evaluating funding applications for community projects.

On its 100th anniversary in 2003, Newcastle Permanent Building Society created the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation as a gift to the community. Newcastle Permanent Community Foundation Company Ltd is the trustee of the Charitable Foundation and is represented by a Board of Directors, comprising representatives of the Newcastle Permanent Board and appointed Community Directors. The Charitable Foundation Board elects its own Chair. 

The Charitable Foundation is classified as a Private Ancillary Fund (PAF) and is regulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The Charitable Foundation provides more than $1.5 million annually in grants to eligible not-for-profit community organisations across the Hunter, Central Coast, Central West, Mid North Coast, New England, and Northern Rivers regions of NSW. 

The Board meets at least four times each year and has responsibility to set and monitor the Charitable Foundation’s strategic direction, guide its financial, risk and investment decisions, ensure compliance with the Charitable Foundation’s Trust Deed, guidelines and taxation and other legislation, and to approve funding of charitable grants. 

Newcastle Permanent Building Society has endowed the Foundation with $30 million to administer within the guidelines of the Charitable Foundation’s own constitution, charter, and strategic plan. The Charitable Foundation invests the $30 million endowment to generate an income stream that is used to support worthy and important community projects and initiatives into the future. Operational support is provided by Newcastle Permanent Building Society under a defined administrative services agreement.

Our Directors

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation is governed by an independent Board of Directors, comprising both Newcastle Permanent Directors and Community Directors.


Board member since March 2017

Jennifer is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and a Trustee Fellow of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia. She has a well-established career forged in the Hunter Region, including over 14 years as the inaugural Managing Director of Pitcher Partners Newcastle and Hunter Wealth Management from which she retired in 2019. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Diploma of Financial Planning. She is also a Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Newcastle Permanent Building Society Ltd. As well, Jennifer is an Independent Member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of Hunter New England Heath, a member of the University of Newcastle’s Alumni Advisory Committee and a sessional academic at the Newcastle Business School.

AO BEd (HMvt)

Board member since August 2018

Kurt is a three-time Paralympic Gold Medallist in wheelchair racing and has had marathon wins in 10 countries including the prestigious New York, London, and Chicago marathons multiple times.

Kurt is a passionate disability advocate and devotes himself to a number of national and Hunter-based charitable initiatives. He is a Director of the Australian Paralympic Committee, a former Director of Australian Volunteers International, and was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2018 Queen’s birthday honours. As a qualified Physical Education teacher, Kurt travels throughout NSW teaching high-school students in small and large communities. Kurt’s exploits both in and out of sport saw in recognised as the 2009 NSW Young Australian of the Year and the 2019 NSW Australian of the Year.


Director since October 2019

Jane is a health industry executive whose career has contributed to improved patient care and outcomes in regional communities. Jane was the Executive Director of Partnerships, Innovation and Research for Hunter New England Health until 2020. She holds current positions as a non-executive director on Boards including Rural and Remote Medical Services, the University of Newcastle Students Association (UNSA) and Rigpa Fellowship Inc. Jane has previously held director roles for Hunter Medical Research Institute and Hunter Post Graduate Medical Institute and was deputy chair of the Committee for the Hunter. Jane is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts (Communication). She has extensive experience in organisational culture, innovation and research, customer relationship management and building partnerships to deliver results.


Board member since February 2020

Bernadette joined Newcastle Permanent on 1 July 2019 as CEO. Bernadette has over 20 years’ executive leadership experience in Financial Services. She has been a successful business leader in retail banking, wealth management, and insurance, and has held senior executive roles across core corporate services functions at both major and regional organisations. Bernadette also has extensive experience across a broad spectrum of Board appointments including arts, education, real estate, infrastructure and financial services. Her involvement has also extended to a number of community engagements including being a Director on the Westpac Foundation Board and a member of the Royal Hospital for Women and Chief Executive Women Scholarship fundraising committees.

BA (Communication studies)

Board member since February 2019

Chad is an established and well-recognised media leader. A former editor of the Newcastle Herald, he is now head of daily titles for Australian Community Media’s network of print and online publications. Chad has exceptionally strong links with the Hunter, and is passionate about championing issues, highlighting successes and providing equal access to services within regional communities. Chad holds many community leadership roles, including being a board member of Got Your Back Sista, Newcastle Football and the Joy Cummings Centre Reserve Trust as well as a foundation committee member of the Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame. He has served on Mindframe’s national group advising on the media portrayal of suicide and mental illness, and been part of the alumni advisory committee for The University of Newcastle and chaired the external advisory board for the University's Bachelor of Communication program. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Board member since September 2020

Margie forged a successful executive career with Mars Food and led the company as its CEO for five years. She is an experienced leader with more than 15 years’ experience as a director on boards across a range of industries, including education, retail, hospitality and freight. Margie is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has expertise in change management, information technology, supply chain management, and strategic planning and procurement. Margie is a current Non-Executive Director of Newcastle Permanent Building Society, Bapcor Limited, Central Coast Industry Connect and Droppoint Australia. She is the Chair of Bagtrans and Advisory Chair of PURE Grain.

Margie has held Not for Profit Director roles for 7 years. She is on the Central Coast Grammar school, and was chair of their risk committee for 4 years. Margie was the Chair of the University of Newcastle Ourimbah campus advisory board for 3 years. She is an active mentor in the Not for profit space with ongoing mentorship for NFP CEO’s through the Kilfinan organisation. Margie is a member of Chief Executive women and Women on Boards.