Chapter Three

Building on the legacy of the Belgiorno-Nettis’ philanthropy in the arts, the Foundation supported the Biennale of Sydney and Australian Chamber Orchestra for organisational funding and Accessible Arts for an innovative public project. The Board tasked the Advisory Committee with researching potential grantees in the other two priority areas which led to a grants for early-career researchers at universities who were investigating innovation in resources management, and leading organisations addressing employment and education barriers for Indigenous people.

An Expert Panel of Transfield Holdings’ David Iverach and Transfield Services’ Peter Goode, supported by Transfield Services’ Tony Hunt, resulted in the Board agreeing to support Jayashri Ravishankar and Robert Taylor from the University of NSW, Thomas Jeffries and Olivier Laczka from the University of Technology, and Mark Wiggins from Macquarie University. These one-off grants of approx. $20,000 were given in FY2013, and extended for a second year, addressing a diverse range of applied technologies.

The four leading national organisations working in Indigenous employment and education were awarded multi-year grants were the Clontarf Foundation, Many Rivers Microfinance, Australian Indigenous Mentoring Program (AIME) and Career Trackers. Three-year grants were provided in FY2011 and extended for a further three years for completion in FY2016. The Transfield Foundation’s focus on providing operational funding signified a commitment to the staffing and infrastructure requirements of not-for-profit organisations, in itself an innovative approach to corporate philanthropy.

By the end of 2015 the relationship between Transfield Holdings and Transfield Services had changed. In 2012 Luca and Guido Belgiorno-Nettis had stepped down as directors of the public company, and in 2014 Transfield Holdings sold its shareholding. It had also become plain that there was significant confusion in the market place between the two companies, and that their respective interests had diverged. Holdings accordingly served notice on Services of termination of the Trade Mark License Agreement with effect from February 2016. As a result of these changes the two companies agreed to wind up their joint venture in the Transfield Foundation.