The John T Reid Charitable Trusts, created by the late Sir John Reid (1903 – 1984), is a family foundation. For over 50 years, three generations of family members have proudly continued his generous legacy.
Sir John’s philanthropy had as its basis that support from his Charitable Trusts allowed good people to get on with their own good work for the benefit of the community. This spirit of giving, combined with his wide networks, enquiring mind and support for humanitarian and social justice causes, ensured that funds went to a broad range of organisations well placed to have a positive impact on the Australian community. He gave his time willingly to several organisations committed to the welfare of the community, including the Rotary Club of Melbourne. Proud of Australia and committed to its future, he promoted the development of Australian intellectual and artistic life through his support of institutions such as the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the Victorian College of the Arts.
The Trust Deed, typical of the founder, is straightforward and open – charities and institutions in the fields of Social Welfare, Medical Research, The Arts and Education could all be supported. In recent years, Environmental projects have been included with the concern over the sustainability of our future.
In the original Trust Deeds, Sir John provided some guidance for Trustees to:
- Support with relatively large amounts to a small number of charities, rather than small amounts to many
- Give to charities unable to secure government support
- Give to specific projects rather than general purpose funds
- Give special consideration to those charities, which Trustees think valuable to the community, but which lack popular appeal and support
In the early years, Sir John identified those in need through business and community contacts. The management of the John T Reid Charitable Trusts has developed over the years in line with the changes in the not-for-profit sector within Australia, with the development of administrative processes to manage the Trusts’ activities.