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Brian Hartzer new Chair AM Foundation

Farley Fitzgerald, Brian Hartzer appointed chairman of Australian Museum Foundation, The Australian Museum, 3 December 2020

Hartzer also appointed as a Trustee to AM Trust.

Brian Hartzer appointed chairman of the Australian Museum Foundation.

Sydney, 3 December 2020: Following today’s announcement by Minister for the Arts Don Harwin that Mr Brian Hartzer will join the Australian Museum Trust, the Australian Museum (AM) has also announced that Mr Hartzer will join the Australian Museum Foundation (AMF) and has been elected as Chairman by its board.

Mr Hartzer will assume his role as Chairman effective immediately, following AMF Chairman Diccon Loxton’s retirement, having served the AMF for over 13 years.

“I am honoured to be joining the Australian Museum Foundation as Chairman as well as the AM Trust as a Trustee at this exciting time in the AM’s history,” Brian Hartzer said.

“The Australian Museum is one of NSW’s most important cultural and scientific institutions, engaging the public on important issues like climate change, biodiversity, and First Nations cultures, as well as playing a critical education role. My family has enjoyed their experiences at the AM and I look forward to working with the AM team on its continued development,” Hartzer said.

The AM has recently undergone a $57.5m redevelopment, Project Discover which has attracted significant philanthropic support.

“It’s a great asset to have Brian’s capability and corporate experience on both the AM Trust and AM Foundation, creating greater integration between the two entities. Brian succeeds Diccon Loxton, who has helped increase our philanthropic efforts at the AM, helping realise our potential as a world-class institution,” Australian Museum Trust President David Armstrong said.

“Diccon has inspired many others to give to the Museum through his own philanthropic leadership gifts. It’s my great pleasure to announce Diccon as a Governor Emeritus and I’m pleased that he will continue to support the AM in the future,” Armstrong said.

“Both the AM Trust and AM Foundation play important strategic leadership roles for the Museum. With the support of the AM Foundation, the AM has achieved its Project Discover fundraising goals. The Foundation has helped to almost double the $7m needed to complete our transformation, and we look forward to building on this momentum with Brian as our new AMF Chairman,” Australian Museum Director and CEO Kim McKay AO said.

The AMF was established in the mid-2000s by former AM Trust president Brian Sherman to ensure wider group of donors were involved in the Museum’s work. The AMF is a not-for-profit organisation that exists solely to raise funds to support projects across the AM, from science research and collections to cultural and education programs. The AMF has supported the important work of the AM with projects including:

  • The completion of the Museum’s major transformation, Project Discover, which the AMF raised more than $7m to complete, including major gifts from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation ($5m); Sherman Family Foundation ($1m); the Macdoch Foundation ($3m).
  • The Macdoch Foundation was recently established by Prue and Alasdair MacLeod, and the $3million grant to the AM for the new gallery space is its first flagship gift.
  • The heritage restoration of the Nation’s first gallery – The Westpac Long Gallery in 2017, which was supported both personally and professionally by Brian Hartzer, the former CEO of Westpac.
  • An Early Birds program which provides specialist material and services of trained staff for people with access requirements.
  • Ground-breaking sequencing of the whole koala genome to conserve koala populations.

About the Australian Museum

The Australian Museum (AM) was founded in 1827 and is the nation’s first museum. It is internationally recognised as a natural science and culture institution focused on Australia and the Pacific. As custodian of more than 21.9 million objects and specimens, the AM is uniquely positioned to provide a greater understanding of the region through its scientific research, exhibitions and public and education programs. Through the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI), the AM also plays a leading role in conserving Australia’s biodiversity through understanding the environmental impacts of climate change, potential security threats and invasive species.

Mr Brian Hartzer

Brian was Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Westpac from February 2015 to 2019, having joined Westpac as Chief Executive, Australian Financial Services in June 2012. Prior to joining Westpac, Brian spent three years in the UK as CEO for Retail, Wealth and Ulster Bank at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Prior to that, he spent ten years with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) in Australia in a variety of roles, including his final role as CEO, Australia and Global Segment Lead for Retail and Wealth. Before joining ANZ, Brian spent ten years as a financial services consultant in New York, San Francisco and Melbourne. Brian graduated from Princeton University with a degree in European History and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Outside of his executive roles, Brian has previously served as Chairman of the Australian Banking Association, Chairman of the Australian National University Business and Industry Advisory Board, Chairman of Save the Children Australia, and as a director of the Financial Markets Foundation for Children.

Mr David Armstrong

David was appointed President of Trustees in January 2018 after appointment as a Trustee of the Australian Museum Trust in January 2014. David is a chartered accountant and non-executive Director of the National Australia Bank. He is a Director of the Opera Australia Capital Fund, the Museum’s Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and Chairman of the George Institute for Global Health. David was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for 24 years, specialising in providing professional services for financial services organisations throughout his career and has lived and worked in London and New York. He has a BBus (UTS) and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

Mr Diccon Loxton

Appointed as a Director of the Australian Museum Foundation (AMF) on 21 May 2007 and served as AMF Chairman 31 October 2007- 3 December 2020. Diccon Loxton is a Lawyer and Consultant at Allens Arthur Robinson, specialising in banking and finance. He is the immediate past president and a director of the Banking and Financial Services Law Association. Diccon lectures in the LLM Corporate Finance course at Sydney University and is also a Director of the Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia.

AM Trustees

Mr David Armstrong (President) – three-year term 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2021
Mr Brian Hartzer (new) – three-year term 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2023
Professor Katherine Belov AO (new) – three-year term 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2023
Ms Jennifer Bott AO (reappointed) – three-year term 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2023
Ms Shauna Jarrett (reappointed) – three-year term 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2023
Ms Sara Watts (reappointed) – three-year term 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2023
Professor Merlin Crossley (outgoing) – term ends 31 December 2020
Dr Elie Hammam (outgoing) – stepped down February 2020

AMF Board

Mr Brian Hartzer – Chairman
Ms Fiona Anne Sinclair, BEc LLM Accredited Mediator NMAS – Deputy Chair
Ms Natalia Bradshaw
Mr Warwick Evans, BCom (Eco)
Ms Shauna Jarrett
Mr Charles Alasdair MacLeod
Ms Kim McKay AO, Director & CEO, Australian Museum
Mr David G E Rickards
Ms Kristina Stefanova

Download the media release.

Media Contact

Farley Fitzgerald, Communications Advisor
T 0455 306 788
E [email protected]


Finbar O’Mallon, White knight Hartzer kicks off corporate comeback, The Australian Financial Review, 3 December 2020

Former Westpac Banking Corporation boss Brian Hartzer is kicking off his corporate comeback and will become chairman of the Australian Museum Foundation.

Mr Hartzer resigned as Westpac chief executive in November last year after the financial crimes watchdog alleged the bank had helped facilitate money laundering and failed to monitor suspicious payments for child exploitation in south-east Asia.

Former Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer will join the Australian Museum’s trust and become chairman of its fundraising arm.

The former CEO will take the chairman’s position immediately, overseeing the museum’s fundraising arm, as Allens partner Diccon Loxton retires after 13 years.

Mr Hartzer will also become a trustee of the museum’s trust, which acts as the institution’s governing body.

“The Australian Museum is one of NSW’s most important cultural and scientific institutions,” Mr Hartzer said.

“I look forward to working with the AM team on its continued development.

Mr Hartzer joins multiple heavy-hitters on the trust, including ANZ Bank’s digital chief Maile Carnegie and Buildcorp principal Josephine Sukkar.

David Armstrong, the trust’s president, said Mr Hartzer would bring corporate experience to the role as fundraising became more “professional”, while focusing on revitalising the museum’s galleries and securing research funding.

“We want to make sure that we continue to be as relevant as we possibly can to Sydney, the state and Australia,” Mr Armstrong said.

He would be disappointed if there was blowback about the appointment of the former Westpac boss, but said Mr Hartzer will bring his passion and talent to the role.

Westpac paid the biggest fine in Australian corporate history, $1.3 billion, to settle the case brought against it by AUSTRAC, with the bank admitting to 23 million breaches of the law.