The J.O. & J.R. Wicking Trust is one of Australia’s biggest charitable trusts. With an opening value of $45m upon its establishment in 2004, the Trust is now worth just over $110 million and has pledged more than $44m in grants since its inception.
The Trust is the legacy of John and Janet Wicking, two remarkably active and generous philanthropists whose charitable giving was largely inspired by their own experiences. After John’s mother lost her sight in her later years, John became not only a significant donor to the Association for the Blind (now Vision Australia), but sat on its Board of Directors for 18 years, even serving as president from 1972 to 1984.
John himself suffered an injury while mowing his lawn that required microsurgery. His successful operation by a leading surgeon inspired him to include the Microsurgery Foundation (now the O’Brien Foundation) in his Will, endowing the organisation with more than $2 million to date.
The J.O. & J.R. Wicking Trust has had a particular focus on helping elderly Australians and those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. As part of the Trust’s role in raising public awareness of research into ageing and Alzheimer’s disease, it has supported two public lectures (in 2015 and 2017) as well as held an annual symposium at which leading subject matter experts update the community on relevant advances and emerging issues.
Whether enabling ground-breaking microsurgery research, supporting the development of digital talking book technology, or providing a platform for public discourse about Alzheimer’s/dementia, the Wicking Trust is a shining example of the power of structured philanthropy.