Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Catherine Walter AM appointed new Chair of Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

Image Catherine Walter AM

A new chapter for HMSTrust

After ten years as Trustee, including six as Chair, Dr Philip Moors AO has handed the baton of leadership to Catherine Walter AM.

“When I was appointed Chair of HMSTrust following the retirement of the founding Chair, Darvell Hutchinson AM, I wrote: “It is a signal honour and privilege to be given the opportunity to lead the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust”. After six years in the role of Chair, I can confirm that it has indeed been an honour and a privilege to have led a Board of dedicated Trustees, and a committed and talented staff, in delivering on our purpose of equity of opportunity for all Victorians,” he said.

“HMSTrust is one of Victoria’s major philanthropic trusts having distributed over 4,800 grants to Victorian charitable institutions since 1955, totalling $130 million. An extraordinary legacy grown from an initial bequest of £275,000 in 1951. I am delighted now to hand the baton of leadership to Cathy Walter, who was appointed Trustee and Chair of the Investment Committee in 2014. How wonderful that Cathy’s first year in office coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of HMSTrust. It is fitting that this milestone year celebrates the appointment of the Trust’s first woman Chair. I know that Helen’s legacy is in excellent hands.” 

Catherine Walter has over 20 years’ experience in finance, governance, corporate and for-purpose sectors. Catherine is Chair of Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance, Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority, and Creative Partnerships Australia, and is a director of the Reserve Bank’s Payments System Board and Australian Foundation Investment Company.

A former Managing Partner with Clayton Utz Melbourne, Catherine has previously been a director of: ASX, National Australia Bank, Orica, Melbourne Business School, Victorian Opera, Australian Ballet School, and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. She is a past Chair of Federation Square, Australian Synchrotron and Equipsuper, and a past Commissioner of the City of Melbourne. In 2003 Catherine Walter was honoured as a Member of The Order of Australia for service to business, particularly as a director of a range of public companies, to the arts, to the law, and to the community through the Melbourne City Council.

“I am deeply honoured to be appointed Chair of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. Two central pillars underpin HMSTrust’s work – investment and grantmaking,” said Mrs Walter. “These pillars require integrity, care and due diligence to ensure that HMSTrust’s corpus continues to generate income in perpetuity, and that grantmaking remains relevant and focused on the Trust’s vision for ‘a strong, just and sustainable Victoria’. Phil Moors leaves a legacy of profound good works of which he should deservedly be proud. We will all strive to continue his, Darvell’s and Helen’s visionary work.”