In the mid-1990’s the Council of The Royal Society of Tasmania realised that it would be a temptation for any future Council to spend assets. In addition it was thought there should be some significant funds put aside for “a rainy day”.
The Council sought the energy and wide experience of a long-time member in Mr Ron Banks AM to set up a Foundation, process the legal matters and begin the Foundation in a sound professional manner. Ron took to the task with enthusiasm, gathered a small group into a committee and initially set a goal of accumulating about $100,000. There has always been a member of the Northern Chapter represented on the Foundation committee.
The Rules of the Society were changed to allow for a Foundation which basically had aims as follows:
- To steadily grow a corpus, invest it wisely and encourage deposits by personal donations, bequests, public appeals, gifts or transfer from general funds;
- To (preferably) only use the income from investment interest on special projects or activities; and
- To strongly avoid expending the corpus as it grows.
Ron Banks was conscientious in the advancement of this Foundation. Fairly early in its history the early goal of $100,000 was raised to $150,000 and now is approaching $400,000.
In 2015/16 the Tasmanian Branch of the ANZAAS organisation ceased but had funds that, by law, needed to be deposited with a responsible and like-minded organisation. The Royal Society accepted the responsibility of these funds and immediately entrusted them to the Foundation. These “ANZAAS” funds are clearly earmarked within the financial structure of the Foundation. There is an understanding that the ANZAAS funds are best used when supporting youth activities, such as science schools or similar.
The current committee of the Foundation of the Society consists of: Prof. Jim Reid (Chair), Peter Meyer, Mary Koolhof, Dr John Thorne AM and Dr Eric Ratcliff OAM.