About the Foundation

Why do we need philanthropic support?

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.

Donations and financial gifts help us to invest in our 12 historic houses and museums, grow our collections and preserve the heritage and history of colonial Australia.  Sydney Living Museums connects our past, present and future through our historic and heritage houses and museums, not only showcasing an historic sense of place, but being part of a contemporary and vibrant future. Funds raised by the Foundation are applied to different purposes including:

If you would like to find out more about how you can support Sydney Living Museums in a variety of ways, please call our Head of Development and Fundraising, Joy England +612 8239 2433 or email joye@sydneylivingmuseums.com.au 

The Sydney Living Museums Foundation is a public company that administers a public ancillary fund with deductible gift recipient status (Item 2) and charitable tax concessions (GST and Income Tax Exempt).

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Find out more about how you can support Sydney Living Museums on our Donate page.

Vibrant pink blossoms on cover of paper catalogue.

Acquired through generous donations to the Sydney Living Museums Foundation, the Yokohama Nursery Company catalogues are significant as no other copies are known to be held in Australian public collections.

Related story: Turning the leaves of Australian garden history.

Front cover of Yokohama Nursery Company's descriptive catalogue for 1903. Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, Photo © Jamie North, Sydney Living Museums


Foundation board of directors

Edward Simpson (Chair)

Reformed lawyer, actor, pianist, and investor

Edward Simpson (BA, LLB Syd Uni) has been an active member of the Sydney Living Museums Foundation since 2008, firstly as a committee member and now as Chair.

A trained lawyer, Edward has also worked professionally as an actor and musician, occasional film producer, and now investor. With his three siblings, Edward donated his mother, Caroline Simpson’s remarkable collection of early Australiana to Sydney Living Museums in 2015.  

This generous gift has served as the cornerstone for establishing Australia’s leading interiors and gardens library and is named the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection, in her memory, recognising the importance of the gift by her children. 

Edward shares his passion for the preservation, conservation, curation and dissemination of Australia’s cultural history and heritage, through his role as Chair of Foundation, A strong advocate for Sydney Living Museums, Edward proudly works with donors and partners to educate, share and promote the important work of Sydney Living Museums.

Edward Simpson, Chair, Sydney Living Museums Foundation

Sian Nagle

Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Sydney

The most recent member of the SLM Foundation Board, Sian has extensive knowledge in the global financial markets, combined with strong strategic and development skills.  Sian’s desire to work with SLM is reflected in her commitment and interest in the history and heritage development of Australia.

Michael Rose, AM

Lawyer and the former Chief Executive Partner of Allens

Michael is a lawyer by background and the Chairman of a number of government, arts and not-for-profit organisations including the Committee for Sydney and ChildFund Alliance. He is active in Indigenous affairs, being a member of the Referendum Council on Constitutional Recognition and a Board member of various organisations focused on welfare reform, economic development and education in Indigenous communities. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Susannah Sweeney

Principal of Fourfold Design

Member of the Foundation since 2016, Susannah is passionate about architecture, heritage and design. Principal of Fourfold Design, Susannah also has a Master of Architecture focused on Sustainable Architecture from Sydney University. Susannah brings a wealth of knowledge and a clear passion for the work of SLM, and generously shares her expertise and knowledge with SLM supporters.

Simon White


Simon has been a member of the Foundation since 2013 and his quiet support through his extensive knowledge of corporate law and strong background in running complex commercial cases, understanding of statutory obligations on directors and governance responsibilities combined with his regard for heritage, has been most valuable in his work with SLM Foundation.

Foundation Emeritus Council

Beat Knoblauch

Company director, Beat Knoblauch & Associates

Clive Lucas OBE

Heritage architect & director, Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners

Prof Howard Tanner

Architect and director, Tanner Architects

Jill Wran

Company director