Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Debra Morgan

Debra Morgan - Chief Executive Officer

Debra Morgan joined the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust in October 2021. Debra is an accomplished leader and brings 20 years’ executive experience in the philanthropic and for-purpose sectors leading, developing and managing philanthropic programs.

Debra was the inaugural Head of the Aesop Foundation with responsibility for shaping and delivering Aesop’s engagement strategy with its communities across more than 25 geographies, and in particular, supporting education and cultural initiatives aimed at growing literacy and inclusion.

Prior to that Debra spent eight years with The Myer Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund and Myer Family Company designing, delivering, evaluating and overseeing major grant programs of significant reach and value.

Debra is a Director of the Australian Tapestry Workshop, a leading Australian arts organisation, and one of only a few workshops in the world dedicated to hand-weaving contemporary tapestries.

Glen Thomson

Glen Thomson - Finance Executive

Glen Thomson joined the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust in November 2013. He is a senior finance and operations professional with extensive experience in financial services with 12 years specifically in the funds management industry.

Glen qualified as a Chartered Accountant while working in the Cape Town office of Ernst & Young before transferring to their London office. This was followed by 3 years at UBS in London as a Global Risk Analyst.  On returning to Cape Town, Glen was Chief Operating Officer for 4 years at PeregrineQuant, a quantitative fund manager.

Prior to joining Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Glen was the Chief Financial Officer for 8 years at Wallara Asset Management, a boutique funds management firm based in Melbourne.

Karyn McLeod

Karyn McLeod - Senior Program Manager

Karyn McLeod joined the Trust July 2023, bringing experience in philanthropy covering strategy implementation, grant management, policy development and evaluation design. She has a Bachelor of Applied Management (Strategic Management) and in 2012 undertook City University of New York’s International Fellows Program.

Karyn has held senior granting roles with leading foundations in New Zealand and Australia, supporting the design and implementation of innovative funding and engagement practices, and regards her work with the Rata Foundation in Christchurch after the 2009 earthquakes and with Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal as important career learnings, affirming the importance of the community’s voice at the table.

Karyn’s most recent role was supporting Sustainability Victoria to deliver funding and capability building programs to enable Victorian communities to achieve their circular economy, climate action and energy reduction aspirations.

Karyn is passionate about leading and supporting approaches that enable people and community organisations to thrive and be authentic in their own story.

Nick Doherty

Nick Doherty - Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Nick Doherty joined the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust in January 2022.

Nick brings 15 years administrative experience to the role, having worked for agencies and arts organisations in the UK, NZ and Australia.

Prior to joining the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Nick was Executive Assistant at Melbourne Theatre Company for seven years.