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The 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.

Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation annual review 2017/18
(L–R): Phil Neat (Chair), Julie Ainsworth, Jennifer Leslie, David Shanley and Mike Rabbitt.

Our 2017/18 Directors


Board member since July 2003

Awards: NSW Olympic Council Order of Merit.

Phil has been the Chair of Newcastle Permanent Community Foundation Company Ltd since March 2017 and a Director since 2003. Phil is also a Director of Newcastle Permanent Building Society Ltd and is the former Chair of the Risk Management and Remuneration Committees of that Board.

Phil was an adviser for more than 30 years to major Australian and international corporations involved in the infrastructure, property development and resource/mining sectors. He had a background in journalism before establishing his own consultancy business.

Board member since March 2012

Julie has more than four decades of management experience in the newspaper media industry. She was the first female General Manager of Newcastle Newspapers Pty Ltd, and has received numerous accolades for her contribution to business and the community. Julie is involved in a large number of local boards and committees in a voluntary capacity and has a personal passion in supporting the disadvantaged in the community.


Board member since March 2017

Jennifer has a well-established career forged in the Hunter region, including more than 13 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.


Board member since November 2003

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.

BCom, CFP, GAICD, GIA (Cert)

Board member since July 2015

David has more than 35 years’ experience in the finance sector with a background in the building society and credit union industries. For more than 25 years he has been an adviser to personal and corporate clients on technical financial planning issues. David is also a Director of Newcastle Permanent Building Society Ltd and Newcastle Friendly Society Ltd.