Commemorating 50 Years of The George Alexander Foundation
It was from a small yet generous gift of $30,000 from George Alexander in 1972, that The George Alexander Foundation has grown to have a corpus valued at approximately $44 million (June 2022).
It is remarkable to see this growth and with it the progression and strategic development of the Foundation’s mission.
Thank you to the partners of The George Alexander Foundation – it is through your institutions that the Foundation impacts the lives of so many talented young Australians, helping them to fulfill their potential.
George Alexander was a man of vision and generosity. His life story is a tale of achievement in the face of great odds, and it exemplifies the ethos that has helped build modern Australia. It is truly inspiring that a man from humble beginnings who came to Australia as a child migrant under the Big Brother scheme could create such a legacy.
Since it was established, the Foundation has donated over $29 million to the Australian community. Although initially giving broadly, the Foundation has gradually clarified its purpose:
- To support talented individuals across Australia to achieve their educational goals and fulfill their potential
- to contribute to a sustainable Australia by supporting environmental education and encouraging young people’s commitment to the environment, and
- to honour the legacy of George Alexander and his desire to give back to the community.
This mission directly responds to George's own early life experiences of adversity and a lack of education.
Similarly, the funding principles which guide the Foundation – sustainability, community, access, leadership, and excellence – reflect the values demonstrated by George himself during his lifetime as he strove to acquire an education, prospered in his business interests, and looked to give back to others in the community through philanthropy.
Today, The George Alexander Foundation provides one of Australia’s most significant private scholarship and fellowship schemes offering close to 100 scholarships and fellowships a year valued at nearly $2 million per annum.
In total, the Foundation has supported over 1,000 scholars and 400 fellows, recognising their talent, leadership potential, and commitment to the wider community. In the Foundation’s early years, George was asked how he wished to be remembered. His modest reply was, ‘I don’t want to be remembered for anything; I’m just a pom who came out to a great country and got lucky.’
Despite this sentiment, George’s remarkable values and spirit are embodied within his foundation, having a lasting impact on the scholars, and fellows his philanthropy has touched.
George would certainly be proud to see what has grown from the seed he planted 50 years ago.
Charles Goode AC