About Us

Welcome! We are honoured, proud and excited to launch the Jackman Furness Foundation for the Performing Arts. We believe a strong and vibrant cultural and artistic life is profoundly important to the well-being and advancement of any society: to challenge, enlighten, improve and enrich us.

As such, the Foundation’s broad mission is to support the performing arts in Australia and the institutions that train our wealth of talent. We hope you will join us in supporting the performing arts in Australia.

Warm wishes,

Hugh Jackman    Deborra-lee Furness
FOUNDERS

The Jackman Furness Foundation for the Performing Arts (JFFPA) is a national foundation established by actors Hugh Jackman and Deborra-lee Furness to support the performing arts in Australia. The Foundation was launched on 17 May 2014 at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in Perth, where Hugh’s performance journey began. Hugh Jackman graduated from WAAPA in 1994 and since then, in a stellar career, has been entertaining audiences across the world.

The Foundation’s goal is to enable performing arts students to thrive in their art and lives, by supporting the development of their skills, knowledge, courage and awareness, through improving the quality of their educational experience.

The mission of the Foundation is to support the performing arts in Australia and the institutions that train Australia’s wealth of talent. JFFPA is particularly interested in supporting training which recognises, celebrates, develops and nurtures the unique skills and talents of Indigenous performance students.

Jack Thompson

FOUNDING PATRON

Jack Thompson AM Phd

Australian actor Jack Thompson is best known for his appearances in The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Breaker Morant, The Man from Snowy River, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones. More recent films include Australia and Great Gatsby. Jack was cited as Best Supporting Actor at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Australian Film Institute's Best Actor award for his role in Breaker Morant.

Jack has been recognised by the Critics Circle of Australia, which awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award, and by the Cinema Owners Association of Australia, which gave him its Award for Outstanding Contribution to Australian Film Entertainment. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the 1986 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his accomplishments in the film industry. Jack has also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Charles Darwin University for his contribution to the Australian film industry and commitment to the advancement of Indigenous culture.

Hugh Jackman

CO-CHAIRPERSON | TRUSTEE

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman is an Academy Award® nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award winning actor, who has made an impression on audiences of all ages. From his award-winning turn on Broadway as the 1970’s singer/songwriter Peter Allen, to his metal claw-wielding Wolverine in the lucrative X-Men franchise, Hugh has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of our time. He is also well known for his leads in Kate & Leopold, Van Helsing, The Prestige, Australia, Real Steel, Les Misérables and Prisoners. His work in Les Misérables earned him his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy in 2013. A four-time host of the Tony Awards, winning an Emmy Award for one of these appearances, Jackman also hosted the 81st Academy Awards in 2009. Hugh is a proud graduate of WAAPA.

Deborra-lee Furness

CO-CHAIRPERSON | TRUSTEE

Deborra-lee Furness

Deborra-lee Furness is an internationally acclaimed actress as well as a passionate supporter of children and defender of their human rights across the globe.

A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York Deborra-lee has won many awards including Best Actress awards from the highly regarded Film Critics Circle of Australia, the Variety Award and Best Actress at Seattle International Film Festival for the movie Shame. She received a Best Actress Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain) for her role in Waiting. Deborra-lee has appeared in many movies and worked extensively in television and on stage. Ms Furness was nominated by the Australian Film Institute for her Guest Starring role in Seachange and for Best Supporting Actress in the Ray Lawrence directed Jindabyne. She won the Film Critics Circle Award of Australia a second time for her portrayal of Jude in Jindabyne.

Deborra-lee’s humanitarian work for children is a driving force in her life. Deborra-lee is Patron of The Lighthouse Foundation for displaced children in Melbourne Australia; Patron of the Bone Marrow Donor Institute for children with leukemia and Patron of International Adoption Families of Queensland. She is also on the boards of Adopt Change in Australia, World Wide Orphans Australia and is on the advisory committee for the Global Poverty Project.

Deborra-lee co-founded National Awareness Week, focusing on improving adoption programs, procedures and legislation in Australia and raising awareness and understanding of the issues for adoptive children and their families. In 2014 NAAW achieved the goal of new legislation being passed by the Australian government to greatly approve procedures surrounding adoption.

For her advocacy work for vulnerable children, she has been honoured by World Wide Orphans, the Joint Council USA and in 2013 was given the prestigious award of Angel in by the Adoption Congressional Coalition on Adoption in Washington DC.

Geoff Michael

AMBASSADOR

Geoff Michael

Geoff Michael has more than 25 years of experience as a Director of companies both private and ASX listed involved with investment, project development and enterprise start-up across a range of industry sectors and asset classes both nationally and internationally. The majority of his experience has been spent as a major stakeholder or representing a substantial interest in the endeavor from the inception and propositional stage, right through the investment process to delivery, operation or sale. Geoff's knowledge and experience brings the ability to view the Foundation's work from a partner and collaborative perspective, while maximising the outcome, effectiveness and sustainability of the Foundation’s mission. He has served on the Board of the Hellenic Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Committee member of the Old Halians Association.

Adam Levin

AMBASSADOR

Adam Levin

With more than 20 years experience as a leading lawyer in WA, Adam, a Partner of Jackson McDonald, was recognised by Best Lawyers for his work in wealth management/succession and tax law. Adam provides legal advice to many WA families and their businesses with a focus on complex family and business governance, business exits and succession. Adam’s clients come from the private, public sectors and social enterprise sectors, locally and internationally.

Adam is a leader in the establishment of foundations and not-for-profits and enjoys contributing to ideas that are important to WA’s success. He was the founding chairman of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the founding chairman of the Forum for Independent Directors of Indigenous Organisations (FIDIO) and a member of the board of directors of the McClements Foundation, the Nola Criddle Foundation, the Museum of Freedom and Tolerance of WA and the Australian Israel Chamber of Commerce.

Ken Michael

AMBASSADOR

Dr. Ken Michael AC

Dr Ken Michael AC was sworn in as the 30th Governor of Western Australia in January 2006. Previously, Ken was Chancellor of The University of Western Australia. He was also Chairman of the East Perth Redevelopment Authority, a member of the Economic Regulation Authority, and a former Commissioner of Main Roads WA. He is a graduate of UWA and Imperial College, London.

He has achieved a distinguished record of service in several fields including engineering, public service, management and service in general to the Western Australian community.

Ken was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 1996, and elevated to a Companion in the Order of Australia in the 2006 Australia Day Honours. He was named Western Australian Citizen of the Year in 2001 in the category of the Professions and received the Centenary Medal in 2003 for service to the public, engineering and the Greek Community.

Together with his late wife Julie, they were strong supporters of the arts and culture. The Government House Foundation recognised Julie’s contribution by establishing the Julie Michael Prize in Music in 2009 at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Mark Barnaba

AMBASSADOR

Mark Barnaba

Mark Barnaba serves as both Chairman of Macquarie Group, Western Australia and as Chairman, Global Resources Group, Macquarie Capital. He is also Chairman of The University of Western Australia’s Business School Board and an Adjunct Professor in Investment Banking & Finance at the UWA Business School.

Mark is the Chairman of Black Swan State Theatre Company, and a non-executive director of Fortescue Metals Group. He is cofounder (and previously co-executive Chairman) of Azure Capital and previously has been the Chairman of Western Power, Edge Employment Solutions, the West Coast Eagles Football Club and Alinta Infrastructure Holdings. He was also appointed by the Premier to chair the WA steering Committee of the Commonwealth Business Forum for CHOGM in 2011.

Mark attended The University of Western Australia and received a Bachelor of Commerce degree with first class honours, being awarded the JA Wood University medal for top graduate of his year. He then directly entered Harvard Business School receiving an MBA, graduating with high distinction as a Baker Scholar. Post Business School Mark spent the majority of his time with McKinsey and Company, overseas, before returning to Australia in the mid 1990s. In 2002, Mark was the joint winner of the inaugural WA Business News award for the most outstanding business leader in the State of Western Australia under the age of 40 and in 2009, was the recipient of the WA Citizen of the Year Award in Industry and Commerce.

In 2012, Mark received an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from The University of Western Australia and was granted the Honorary designation FCPA from CPA Australia. Mark is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Elena Douglas

AMBASSADOR

Elena Douglas

Elena Douglas is the Convenor at the Centre for Social Impact at the UWA Business School. She teaches Social Investment and Philanthropy and Leadership for Social Impact. Elena is also a columnist for the Australian Financial Review (AFR) on social and economic policy and is also the media and international affairs advisor for the In the Zone Conference Series presented in partnership with the Australian newspaper. While in New York from 2002-2007 as the CEO of Advance – Global Australians, she engaged the Australian diaspora community in "giving back to Australia", including establishing Foundations to enable successful Australians overseas to donate to Australian causes. Elena was the Co-Chair of the Advance 100 Global Australians Summit, which brought together 100 leading Australians at the Sydney Opera House in December 2006.

Elena has been a management consultant with the national consulting groups of Deloitte and KPMG, a film-maker and a co-founder of Australian SMS and media pioneer BlueSkyFrog. She is currently completing her PhD in Economics at the University of Western Australia.

Nicola Forrest

AMBASSADOR

Nicola Forrest

Nicola is CEO of the Minderoo Foundation (formerly the Australian Children's Trust) which she founded with her husband, Andrew, in 2001. The Minderoo Foundation's focus includes GenerationOne, a national movement focused on ending Indigenous disparity in Australia through employment; Walk Free Foundation, a global organisation focused on ending modern slavery; and Hope for Children, an international aid organisation focused on development projects in Ethiopia.

In May 2014, Nicola was awarded Western Australian of the Year in the Community category. Nicola believes a collaborative approach encompassing the arts, education and health is essential to build sustainable empowerment in individuals and communities. She has been instrumental in diversifying the scope of Minderoo Foundation to allow it to provide a holistic approach to community development and enhancement through the Arts.

Nicola is a Patron for Sculpture by the Sea and the Kimberley Rock Art Foundation and a Director of the Black Swan Theatre Company. In 2009 Nicola and Andrew were awarded the Ernst and Young National Social Entrepreneurs of the Year.

Brett McCarthy

AMBASSADOR

Brett McCarthy

Brett McCarthy started his journalism career in 1984 as a cadet reporter with The Telegraph, Brisbane’s then afternoon newspaper. He joined the Brisbane Daily Sun two years later and then moved to Sydney as a reporter with The Daily Mirror, which merged with The Daily Telegraph in 1990.

Brett was appointed assistant day editor of The Daily Telegraph in 1992, then day editor and assistant editor (sport) before becoming the Sydney paper’s assistant editor in 1997. He was promoted to deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph in 1999 and moved to Perth in 2001 as editor of The Sunday Times.

In 2007 he left The Sunday Times to become involved in a Perth-based family business. Brett was appointed editor of The West Australian in March 2009.

He has a graduate certificate in management and is a Telethon Trustee.

Christine Simpson Stokes

AMBASSADOR

Christine Simpson Stokes

Christine began a career in broadcasting in 1987 in North Queensland with Telecasters North Queensland and then the ABC, where she hosted a radio drive program on 4QN before moving to Perth as Channel Ten’s Prime Time News Anchor in 1990.

After 6 successful years in Perth, which saw Christine involved in community activities, producing and presenting an arts segment on Ten News and working with the former head of the Broadcasting unit at WAAPA, Earl Reeve, Christine moved to Sydney to join the then fledgling Sky News Australia service.

Between 1997 and 2000, Christine focussed her attention on her private media company specialising in broadcast media training.

Following her departure from the media, Christine has played an ever increasing role in the development of the Kerry Stokes Art Collection and supporting Channel Seven’s Telethon and serves on the board of Telethon Trustees.

Nichola Zed

EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Nichola Zed

Nichola Zed is a business development manager, art consultant and writer. Nichola has a background in architecture, public relations and gallery management. With this abundance of experience she is also the Travel Editor for Coco Eco Magazine, based in Los Angeles, writing about everything from travel to endangered species and is passionate about creating stories that will educate and inspire. Nichola has studied and worked in Paris, Florence, Brussels and London. She is thrilled to be part of the JFFPA team, creating essential opportunities for the performing arts in Australia, allowing students to develop their talents and to create a national and international awareness, made possible by the excellent training institutions in our country.

What We Support

JFFPA’s principal and inaugural fundraising recipient is the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Australia’s premier multi-disciplinary performing arts training institution, WAAPA has a track record producing successful, skilled and remarkable performers in song, dance, music and theatre who brighten, enlighten, inspire and entertain audiences across the world.

To maintain and enhance WAAPA as a world-class training institution, JFFPA will provide funding and advocacy support:

Press Room

Acknowledgements

JFFPA gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support and assistance of the following:

How to make a donation

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to JFFPA, please contact us:

Mobile: +61 (0) 499 700 199 - Fax: +61 8 9481 1947 - Email: info@jffpa.com

Hugh and Deborra-lee wanted to give something back. They believe a strong and vibrant cultural and artistic life is profoundly important to the well-being and advancement of any society: to challenge, enlighten, improve and enrich us. The Foundation seeks to invest in the performing arts as a major part of this cultural and creative expression, fundamental to our nation's identity and creativity.

Acclaimed Australian performers grace stages from West End to Broadway and throughout the film and broadcast industries nationally and internationally. Most have reached these pinnacles of achievement because their exceptional talent has been nurtured and developed in a world-class training institution that strives for excellence.

The Foundation will enable performing arts students to thrive in their art and lives, by supporting the development of their skills, knowledge, courage and awareness by improving the quality of their educational experience.

The JFFPA has a fundraising target of AUD $10 million in the first four years. The Foundation’s structure is to maintain its corpus and distribute the investment income each year. This way the Foundation will make a difference in perpetuity.

The Foundation will invite expressions of interest in projects it considers important. There will be no grant rounds in the foreseeable future. The Foundation is not designed to fund un-solicited proposals as it wishes to concentrate on a small number of high-impact campaigns.

The JFFPA welcomes all support. If you are a business or individual that wishes to support the Foundation through financial or in-kind sponsorship, please contact info@jffpa.com or phone +61 8 6315 3535 fax + 61 8 9481 1947.

The Foundation is a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and donations are tax deductible.

Contact Us

WE'D REALLY LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

Jackman Furness Foundation for the Performing Arts

Suite 10, 100 Railway Road, Subiaco WA 6008

  • Mobile: +61 (0) 499 700 199
  • Fax: +61 8 9481 1947
  • Email: info@jffpa.com