Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Dr Philip Moors AO succeeds long-serving Chairman of Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Darvell Hutchinson AM.

Long recognised as a leader and visionary in Australia’s philanthropic sector, Darvell Hutchinson AM has today announced that he is stepping down as Chairman of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust (HMSTrust) after a remarkable 50-year stewardship. He will retire as a Trustee at HMSTrust’s Annual Meeting in November.

Image Darvell Hutchinson, left, and Dr Philip Moors AO

Appointed a Trustee in 1964 and Chairman in 1969, Mr Hutchinson has overseen the transformation of a little-known bequest of £275,000 to a high profile philanthropic trust with total assets of over $100 million. More than $100 million has been distributed to Victorian charities since the Trust was created in 1951, following the death of Helen Macpherson Smith.

Mr Hutchinson will be succeeded as Chairman by Dr Philip Moors AO, the former Chief Executive of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, who was appointed a Trustee in 2010.

Looking back over the past 50 years, Mr Hutchinson said it had been a great privilege to steer HMSTrust and to lead an outstanding team of trustees and executives.

“It gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction, pride and honour to have progressed Helen’s trust to a level that enabled us to give back so much to the community over these years, and will continue to give for generations to come.

“I take great pleasure in passing the baton for Helen’s benefaction to a very fine professional board of trustees who I know will do a magnificent job for Helen,” Mr Hutchinson said. “However, I won’t be idle. I am a trustee of other philanthropic funders, and will give a year or two of strategic advice before I pass the baton for all such involvements in the sector.”

Mr Hutchinson has held corporate directorships and community board positions in more than 20 major organisations, including Bank of Melbourne, Fairfield Hospital, National Gallery of Victoria and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund. He was President and a member of the Council of the forerunner to Philanthropy Australia. He has been honoured as a Member of The Order of Australia for service to the community, and has received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Monash University for his contribution to the Victorian community and to Melbourne’s role as the major centre of philanthropy in Australia.

Incoming Chairman Dr Philip Moors said: “It is indeed an honour to succeed Darvell Hutchinson who has led HMSTrust with such distinction over the past 50 years. His achievement is truly extraordinary.

“The Trust is in excellent shape with a strong board and highly capable staff. Much work has gone into reviewing the Trust’s grant-giving strategy in recent years and my immediate priority will be to ensure we continue to implement this strategy effectively.

“Since the Trust was established 1951, countless Victorians have been touched by Helen Macpherson Smith’s altruistic vision. My colleagues and I are committed to seeing Helen’s marvellous legacy flourish, and for her Trust to make an even stronger contribution to Victoria in the decades to come,” he said.

Dr Moors was Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne from 1992 to 2012, during which time he led the creation of the multi-award-winning Australian Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne. In 2013 he became a member of the Council of La Trobe University, and in that year was also appointed an Officer of The Order of Australia for distinguished service to conservation and the environment.


Lin Bender AM Chief Executive
Helen Macpherson Smith Trust
Phone: (03) 9999 3000