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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 has a well-established career forged in the Hunter region, including almost 14 years as Managing Director of Pitcher Partners Newcastle and Hunter Wealth Management. Jennifer is also a Director of Newcastle Permanent Building Society Ltd and Newcastle Friendly Society Ltd and is a member of the University of Newcastle’s Alumni Advisory Council.

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.


Board member since October 2019

Jane is currently the Executive Director of Partnerships, Innovation and Research for Hunter New England Health. She currently holds positions as a non-executive director on other Boards, including Committee for the Hunter, Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute and Rigpa Fellowship.


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.


Board member since November 2007

Mike has more than 30 years’ experience in media, marketing, and community services roles. He was Lead Sports Presenter and Promotions Manager for NBN Television between 1993 and 2014 and has served and continues to serve on a number of committees and boards of community organisations throughout regional NSW including the Central Coast Academy of Sports, International Children Games, Hunter Athletics Centre, and Newcastle Rugby League.

Board member since February 2019

Chad is an established and well-recognised print leader, currently the Managing Editor - NSW Central for Australian Community Media (ACM). Chad has exceptionally strong links with the Hunter and regional NSW communities, and is passionate about regional development and providing equal access to services within regional communities. Chad holds many community leadership roles as an ambassador for White Ribbon, a Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame committee member, a board member of Got Your Back Sista, Newcastle Football and the Joy Cummings Centre Reserve Trust, and part of Mindframe’s national group advising on the media portrayal of suicide and mental illness.