Meet the SAM Foundation Board

COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY… From left, SAM Foundation board director, Jo-Anne Foster, chair, John Head and directors, Meryl Hill and Adam Furphy are working tirelessly for the benefit of community. (Absent), directors, Polly Symons and Drew Pettifer Photo: Ash Beks.

WITH construction recently commenced at the new site of Shepparton Art Museum (SAM), it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce the region to the passionate group of local, accessible and dedicated group of volunteers working for the benefit of the community.

The SAM Foundation was established in April 2014, with board members working tirelessly behind the scenes to help raise money for the museum. Since then, some of the faces of the SAM Foundation may have changed, but the commitment to community remains as fervent as ever.

Currently, there are six members of the SAM Foundation board:

John Head (chair) is a familiar name to most art fans throughout the region and is a longstanding supporter of the Greater Shepparton community and its many arts organisations. Over the years, John has been heavily involved with many local arts projects, including STAG and the Shepparton Festival, as an artist, attendee and philanthropist.

Meryl Hill (director) is a Friends of SAM committee member and has volunteered for many community activities around the region. Meryl and her husband Roy founded Sailability Shepparton and you can see their boats out on the lake giving joy to those who might not have been able to have that experience otherwise. Both Meryl and Rob enjoy travelling in their caravan visiting art exhibitions wherever they can find them.

Jo-Anne Foster (director) is a senior account executive at Griffiths Goodall Insurance Brokers and joined the SAM Foundation board after completing the Fairley Leadership Program. As someone with over 35 years experience in financial industries, Jo-Anne understands the positive impact that community arts facilities can have on schools and families, and on attracting new businesses and residents to our growing and prosporous Shepparton.

Adam Furphy (director) is the managing director at J. Furphy & Sons and is a devoted businessman, father of three, philanthropist, and is currently the chair of the Lighthouse Project – a project that engages the Greater Shepparton community to improve the happiness and health of our children. Adam believes the new SAM will help put Shepparton on the map, providing a valuable contribution to culture, education, and our region’s future growth.

Polly Symons (director) is the newest (and youngest) member of the Shepparton Foundation board. Born and bred in Shepparton, Polly works as a solicitor at Morrison & Sawers Lawyers and is passionate about encouraging the youth of Shepparton to become more involved in community building and culturally diverse projects.

Drew Pettifer (director) is an absolute multi-tasker who divides his time between Kyabram and Melbourne. Drew runs his own business, teaches at RMIT, serves on various art boards, and also loves to craft his own art. When he’s not doing all of that, Drew is an active member of the Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association and you can see him umpiring games locally on the weekends.