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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

Chair since September 2020, 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. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Diploma of Financial Planning. She is a Director of Job Futures Limited trading as CoAct, a member of the University of Newcastle Alumni Advisory Committee and a member of the Hunter New England Local Health District Audit and Risk Management Committee. Jennifer is also a Director of Newcastle Permanent Building Society Ltd, Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Corporate Governance & Nominations and Remuneration & People Committees.


Director since October 2019

Jane is a non-executive director on Boards including University of Newcastle Students Association, Rural and Remote Medical Services Ltd and Rigpa Fellowship. She worked for 25 years in the NSW public health system as a senior executive. 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 Building Society Ltd on 1 July 2019 as CEO and 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. Bernadette holds a MBA from Macquarie University, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is a Graduate of Management from INSEAD.

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 dailies 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 the Got Your Back Sista charity, 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 has been part of the alumni advisory committee for The University of Newcastle. Chad has also chaired the external advisory board for the University's Bachelor of Communication program and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.


Board member since September 2020

Margie forged a successful executive career with Mars Incorporated and led the company as its CEO for 5 years. She is an experienced and proven 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, completed the General Manager School program tailored for Mars at Harvard University and holds a number of other leadership qualifications. She has expertise in change management, information technology, supply chain management and strategic planning and procurement. Margie is currently the Chair of Bapcor Limited and Advisory Chair of PURE Grain. She is a non-executive director of Central Coast Industry Connect, Droppoint Australia and Metcash Limited. Margie is also a Director of Newcastle Permanent Building Society Ltd and member of the Audit and Remuneration & People Committees.

BA Communications

Board member since February 2021

Natasha is a prominent media professional with nearly 30 years’ experience as a television news presenter, producer and journalist. She is currently the NBN News weeknight news presenter, a patron of Firstchance Early Intervention Service, a Committee member of Hunter Children’s Research Foundation and a member of the Fundraising Committee for Autism Spectrum Australia. Natasha has also been involved in fundraising for ASPECT Hunter School and other local charities.

BEd, DipCouns

Board member since February 2021

Ashley has significant charity sector experience with a strong focus on community education, counselling and the well-being of indigenous people and their communities. He is currently the Managing Director of NSW Aboriginal Safe Gambling Services and a Board Member of Yarnteen. He runs his own Driver Licensing Access Services entity, which provides programs to disadvantaged people and has previously run a personal consultancy service involving indigenous community consultation, leadership, education, research and advice. He has also been involved in organisations such as Life Without Barriers, Life Activities, LeapFrog Ability and Yamuloong Association Inc. Ashley has held former roles as a teacher, university researcher and as a Newcastle Knights rugby league player and has been appointed to the federal Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling as well as the Australian Gambling Research Centre.


Director since 29 April 2022

Ross has been a Director of Newcastle Permanent Building Society Ltd since 2015 and is also the Chair of the Risk Committee and member of the Audit and Corporate Governance and Nominations Committees. Ross is an experienced company director with a Chartered Accounting / Banking background and consequently has strong financial and risk skills. Ross had 28 years’ experience at one of Australia’s major banks before retiring in 2014. His other recent Non-Executive Director roles have included on the Board of the Responsible Entity for two large Australian based, ASX listed, real estate investment trusts, an ASX listed company which operated one of the largest nickel mines in the world and Chair of a private company involved in importing and distributing technology based equipment.