Friday, 24 February 2023

Australia’s largest independent community foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, celebrates its centenary in 2023.

Founded by Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sir John Swanson in 1923 as The Lord Mayor’s Fund for Metropolitan Hospitals and Charities, the Foundation is now one of Australia’s leading philanthropic organisations.
The Foundation has supported Melburnians through world wars, the impact of economic depression, health issues such as polio in the late 1930s and more recently COVID-19, and disaster recovery including bushfires from 1926 to Black Summer Bushfires in 2020.
While reflecting on its inspiring history, the Foundation is also looking to the future and preparing for the challenges Melbourne will face such as the impact of climate change.

“The centenary year provides an extraordinary opportunity for us to celebrate the Foundation’s contribution to Melbourne, and importantly, to prepare for Melbourne’s future challenges,” says Foundation CEO, Dr Catherine Brown OAM.
“Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation is built upon the generosity of our community, and without that support, we wouldn’t have been able to make the impact we do today on economic inequality, disaster and pandemic response, and climate change.”

For 100 years, generations of Melburnians have supported the Foundation through fundraising appeals, gifts in their Wills as well as community and collective giving.
This has enabled the Foundation to respond to the issues and challenges of the day, from extreme poverty to disasters to homelessness and now the impacts of climate change, through its innovative grantmaking and funding of new solutions to address ongoing issues.

Since its establishment in 1923, Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation has provided $197 million in grants to the charitable sector, valued today at approximately $590 million.


Centenary reception at Government House

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Official Centenary Reception was hosted by Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC CVO, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard AM KC at Government House on Thursday 23 February 2023.

The Governor, along with the Foundation’s Chair Mr Paul Bird and Chief Executive Officer Dr Catherine Brown OAM, welcomed 135 guests to launch the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation centenary year.

"A centenary provides an opportunity to look forward as well as back. As Melbourne is poised to become Australia’s largest city, the Foundation’s generous support – including to health, housing, employment and sustainability – is more pressing than ever. Thank you to everyone involved for working towards a safer, kinder and stronger Melbourne," remarked Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC CVO, Governor of Victoria.


  1. Her Excellency, the Honourable Linda Dessau AC CVO, Governor of Victoria launches our centenary year.
  2. The Governor with guests Mr Michael Graves (left) and Ms Norma Graves (right).
  3. (L-R) Guests Mrs Kerry Easden, Mrs Lyn White, Mr Roger Leeming, former Board members Mrs Julie Leeming OAM and Mr Tony Scott.
  4. Former Chair Mr J.G.M. Moffatt AM with Donor Engagement Coordinator Catriona Graveson.


Our centenary logo

In celebration of our centenary year, we have introduced a special commemorative logo to mark this special milestone in the Foundation’s history.


Inspiration for the centenary logo came from our early annual reports. Each annual report was bound in blue leather and featured gold embossed lettering. The colour palette of blue and gold has also inspired the design of the 85th anniversary and 95th anniversary editions of the annual report. During the 1920s The Lord Mayor’s Fund for Metropolitan Hospitals and Charities presented donors with blue and gold pins to show they were supporters of the Fund.

Internal pages showcased each new year with ornate lettering. We added a contemporary spin by adding graphics inside the number ‘100’ reflecting the Foundation’s work over the years, from fundraising activities to supporting hospitals, healthcare and wellbeing, disasters, climate change, next economy jobs and homelessness.


First page of the 1924 Annual Report

Melbourne’s significant landmarks are also included, such as the Arts Centre Melbourne spire, Flinders Street Station, MCG and a city circle tram.