Philanthropy takes many different forms, from financial gifts to donations of time, talent and treasured objects. The Governors’ Circle acknowledges a key group of SLM donors.

Recently, there’s been growing interest in the Governors’ Circle and what’s achieved through becoming a member of this group. The Governors’ Circle is a way of acknowledging donors who have given $5000 or more to the SLM Foundation in a single financial year. These gifts greatly assist our work and the projects we undertake. A Governors’ Circle donation can be a single gift or pledged over a year and is fully tax deductible.

Our core business of preserving and conserving our 12 museums and historic houses is largely funded by the NSW Government. However, we seek additional funds from generous donors to assist us in creating bold, authentic exhibitions, such as the recent modernist exhibitions at the Museum of Sydney – The Moderns: European Designers in Sydney and Marion Hall Best: Interiors – and Florilegium: Sydney’s Painted Garden (2016), all of which were supported by generous donors.

Governors’ Circle gifts also support important projects such as the refurbishment of the drawing and orientation rooms at Vaucluse House, as well as educational and public programs, acquisitions of items of national significance, community events and the development of new visitor experiences. Donations assist us to increase public access and to share the stories of our sites.

What can a Governors’ Circle gift achieve?

$5000 can digitise an average of 2000 items for a collection. Digitisation means we can reach local and international audiences, provide public access and enable scholars to extend their research and to communicate SLM collections through conferences and publications all over the world.

$5000 can acquire items of national significance to grow the breadth and quality of our collections. A recent purchase of a painting by the amateur 19th-century artist Thomas Wingate (featured in the Spring 2017 issue of Unlocked) was made with the assistance of donations by Governors’ Circle members.

$5000 can fund places for 50 children and staff from socioeconomically disadvantaged primary schools in regional and rural areas of NSW to experience a Convict Sleepover at the Hyde Park Barracks Museum. This unique experience has a huge social and educational impact on the children, many of whom have never been away from home before, never been to Sydney and never been to a museum!

$5000 can also be given as an unrestricted gift, enabling SLM to direct the funds where they are most needed.

How do I become a Governors’ Circle member?

We would be delighted to welcome you to the Governors’ Circle. Please contact Joy England, Head of Development & Fundraising, on 02 8239 2433 or, or donate directly at Governors’ Circle donors are recognised through events, publications and other SLM communications. Thank you to all our current members and to all those who support SLM.

About the Foundation

Sydney Living Museums is the State’s most active and experienced heritage institution and the Foundation plays a crucial role in helping SLM to engage with those who have a passion for the outstanding work done by SLM in maintaining, interpreting and managing NSW heritage sites.