New Otago Community Trust Chair Appointed

  • 29-May-20
  • News Media Release

Otago Community Trust has today announced the appointment of John Wilson as its new chair. John takes over the Trust’s chair role from Ross McRobie effective from 1 June 2020. Ross will remain on the board of Otago Community Trust as a trustee until such time that the Minister of Finance makes the new trustee appointments.

John who was previously an investment advisor with Craigs Investment Partners was appointed as a Trustee in July 2016 and has served as deputy chair since July 2018. Diccon Sim, partner at law firm Gallaway Cook Allan has been appointed to fill the deputy chair role.

Mr McRobie said that he felt very privileged to have served on the Trust for the last nine years and has thoroughly enjoyed his tenure as chairperson since 2015.

“I have always particularly enjoyed visiting various community projects and groups throughout the region and witnessing first-hand the enormous contribution that they make to our communities.”

“I wish John and Diccon all the very best for their new roles. John’s strong investment knowledge and experience will serve the Trust well, during what is a particularly challenging time” said outgoing chair Ross McRobie.

Mr Wilson said that as the newly appointed Trust chair he will be working collaboratively with all trustees, our chief executive, and staff to support our region’s community organisations and communities.

“I believe my 30+ years’ experience in the finance industry as an Authorised Financial Adviser as well as my strong commitment to see the Otago region and its people and communities thrive will be valuable in managing this unprecedented period for the Trust and the communities it supports” said new chair, John Wilson.

Mr Wilson noted that while we enter unprecedented times, the Trust has a good level of accumulated-income reserves in place to support Otago. Our investment portfolio is robust, we have a highly skilled board of trustees, a dedicated team of staff whose collective experience will guide us in managing our way through these uncertain times.

“I would like to personally thank Ross for the tremendous work he has done during his tenure both as a trustee and more recently as chair” Mr Wilson said.

The Trust awarded a total of $76,910 to 12 community organisations in its May board meeting. Friends of the Forrester Gallery Society Inc was the largest beneficiary receiving a $25,000 grant. This will assist the gallery with the cost of purchasing and installing a purpose-built art storage system.

Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust also received funding support via a $12,000 grant which will support with the cost of installing a kitchen and bathroom in the middle floor of the Loan and Mercantile Building.

The Trust continues to approve much needed COVID-19 funding. To date $514,778.36 has been awarded to 41 community organisations since the dedicated COVID-19 Response Fund was opened in early April.

We encourage community organisations to contact the trust if they have any questions around funding support, said Trust chief executive Barbara Bridger.

“We are committed to doing the very best for our communities during this difficult and uncertain time”.


Otago Community Trust Community Grants, May 2020


Street Smart Charitable Trust



Nature School Dunedin



Amputee Society of Otago & Southland Inc



Dunedin Lawn Bowls Stadium Inc



Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Trust Board



Aroha Ki Te Tamariki



Northern Junior Association Football Club Incorporated



Progress of Waikouaiti Area



Friends of the Forrester Gallery Society Inc



Oamaru Whitestone Civic Trust



NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust



Upper Clutha Tracks Trust



COVID-19 Response Fund Grants

Otago Community Trust COVID-19 Response Fund Grants – at 22 May 2020


Central Otago District Council



Alexandra Community House



Clutha District Council



Otago Youth Wellness



Stopping Violence Dunedin



Dunedin City Council



Servants Health Centre



Dunedin Community Care Trust



Moana House



Connections Education & Development Centre



Te Hou Ora Whanau Services



Dunedin Community Mediation



Dunedin Budget Advisory Service



Mornington School



Work Opportunities Trust



Dunedin Friend-Link



Te Roopu tautoko kie te Tonga Inc



Waitaki District Council



CCS Disability Action Waitaki



Oamaru Pacific Island Community Group Inc



Cancer Society NZ



Aroha Ki Te Tamariki Trust






Able Charitable Trust









Ronald McDonald House



Brain Injury Assn



Methodist Mission






Cystic Fibrosis NZ



CCS Disability Otago



Anglican Family Care



Presbyterian Support



Salvation Army



Methodist Mission Southern



Methodist Mission Southern



LifeMatters Suicide Prevention Trust NZ



Disability Information Service Otago



Queenstown Lakes District Council



Community Networks Wanaka




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