In the early years of the Foundation, funds were raised mainly by philanthropic donations by College parents and staff including structured pledges, and donations for achievement of membership.
A Management Committee was formed under the chairmanship of Brian Ray. Annual and major appeals were conducted, organised by Graeme Gardiner, a tireless ambassador for the Foundation as the College Development Manager, and ‘breakfast with the Headmaster’, Dr Arnison, featured commonly in the promotional effort of the Foundation.
Such parents, staff and benefactors had great vision and largesse, and the present landscape of the College owes much to their generosity. Somerset College is indeed indebted to them. Some of the current buildings are named in honour of a few of them: The Ray Building (Brian and Kathy Ray), The Gwen Ramsay Memorial Tennis Clubhouse (the Ramsay/Pye family). The Great Hall which opened in 1994, was the first major project for the Foundation, followed by the Swimming Pool and Tennis Court Complexes.
A new era of activity commenced for the Foundation in 2003/2004. The School Council and the Foundation Committee sought to widen the fund-raising base and encourage the parent body to give to the Foundation, by giving parents the opportunity to contribute a Voluntary Building Fund Contribution each term to the Foundation as part of the fee statement, an amount currently set at $100 per term.
This initiative was also to replace the Annual Giving appeals. Early in his tenure as Chairman of the School Council and President of the Foundation (in 2003), Dr Peter Brown was instrumental and visionary, in effectively guiding, then re-structuring the Management Committee and appointing its Chair, Anthony (Tony) Hickey, in 2006.
In the ensuing years since 2003, efforts have been made to actively raise funds by holding fund-raising events such as the Foundation Ball, the auctioning of the Seat of Knowledge, and the enormously successful Gala Events of 2009 and 2010. Also, there has been a renewed thrust by the committee to promote awareness of the Foundation and its goals. The Foundation and its Committee has flourished under the very able and energetic chairmanship of Tony Hickey.
Since becoming Chairman of the College Board following the retirement of Dr Peter Brown in May 2011, Tony Hickey resigned as Chairman of the Foundation Management Committee in August 2011. The new Chairman is Bede Young. The Foundation owes a great debt to Tony Hickey for his contribution which has been as significant and lasting as that of Brian Ray.
In these 20 years and more of raising funds, the Foundation has raised almost $3.8 million. This has been applied to directly benefit the students of Somerset College. The Foundation directors and Committee greatly appreciate and thank all those who give and contribute to the Foundation and to its initiatives.