Vale Betty Amsden
This weekend we lost one of Australia’s most remarkable women, a giant in the Victorian arts community and an advocate for arts philanthropy, Betty Amsden AO.
Our CEO Fiona Menzies reflects on the passion, commitment and legacy of philanthropy great Betty Amsden, AO.
This weekend we lost one of Australia’s most remarkable women, a giant in the Victorian arts community and a vocal advocate for philanthropy, Betty Amsden.
For more than 30 years Betty shared her passion for and with the Victorian arts community; promoting the importance of supporting the arts, and of building the fundraising capacity of arts organisations.
Her landmark $5 million gift to Arts Centre Melbourne in 2009, and aditional pledge of $1 million in 2013, has been instrumental in raising the profile of supporting the arts for children and families. In true Betty style, one of the conditions she attached to the support was that it be used to raise awareness of the value and importance of supporting the arts.
She developed giving programs at Polyglot Children’s Theatre, 3MBS, the RSPCA, Guide Dogs Victoria, the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Australian Ballet Centre, to name just a few.
Betty’s vision for and contributions to the arts in Australia earned her many accolades – including our Philanthropy Leadership Award in 2015, and a place on Forbes Magazine’s Heroes of Philanthropy list in 2013.
She invested in the art and the arts organisations she believed in, and lent her skills, time, knowledge and expertise as a board member, mentor and strategist. Her support for the next generation of arts leaders has ensured that many others will follow her lead. Betty was an inspiration to many and she mentored new philanthropists in her customary down to earth manner.
Betty’s generous spirit, active philanthropy and advocacy for giving will benefit the arts in Victoria for generations to come. We’ll miss her greatly and continue her legacy to grow the culture of giving to the arts.
Creative Partnerships’ Chair, Carol Schwartz, board and team offer their condolences to Betty’s family.
CEO, Creative Partnerships Australia