$750,000 committed over 3 years for NGV Kids

Grant announcement: Truby and Florence Williams Charitable Trust

The Equity Trustees managed Truby and Florence Williams Charitable Trust, has committed $750,000 over the next three years to the NGV Kids program which provides the link between major National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) exhibitions and young culture vultures.

This new commitment builds on the Trust’s initial funding in 2013 of $1.95m over five years towards the development of NGV Kids. This transformative funding supported the establishment of the NGV’s permanent children’s gallery space, dedicated children’s programs and curatorial staff, the publication of fourteen children’s art books, the popular Art Party event for teens, as well as commissioning thirteen major exhibitions for families and young people, including the Julian Opie: Studio for Kids which opens this Friday 9 November.

“When he died in 1941, Truby left an estate valued at more than £400,000,” said Jodi Kennedy, General Manager, Charitable Trusts and Philanthropy, Equity Trustees. “Half of the net estate was used to establish the Trust, which has been managed by Equity Trustees since and is now worth $19 million, and continues to this day distributing its income to a variety of Victorian organisations, including the NGV program.”

NGV Director Tony Ellwood AM said: “The NGV Kids program has provided unique accessibility to the arts for many Victorian children and this new commitment ensures that we can continue this incredible work. Since 2013, the number of children visiting the gallery has increased by 35%, with 314,305 children visiting the gallery with their families in the last financial year, and we are excited to welcome even more young people into the Gallery in the future.

“High-impact grants from the Truby and Florence Williams Charitable Trust and Felton Bequest support inspiring cultural change and provide an enormous benefit to the arts and the wider community,” Mr Ellwood said.

Born in 1866 in Melbourne, Ernest Edward Truby Williams was an investor who spent most of his time travelling throughout Australia and overseas. He kept a meticulous log-book of all his travels, from Florence in 1897 (the same year he married his wife, also named Florence) to India in 1937, by which time he was 71 years old.

“Aside from his obvious passion for travel, Truby was also keenly interested in the arts and the burgeoning field of motor vehicle technology,” explained Ms Kennedy. “He also left money to the University of Melbourne, five Melbourne public hospitals, two technical colleges and an aged care home.

“Our role as executor and trustee was to ensure his wishes were carried out and the intent he had for his legacy continues forever.”

The Trust is one of more than 600 managed by Equity Trustees, which distributes a combined total of between $70 million and $80 million annually to charitable causes and programs.

Managing Director Mick O’Brien said: “The task is enormous but the privilege is even greater. Our team must understand the intentions of those who are no longer with us and distribute grants accordingly to make the maximum impact as well as assist those who could just be the next Truby and Florence Williams to sow the seeds of their philanthropic legacy today.”

/Public Release.