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Gwenneth Head (nee Barlow) was born in 1925 in Melbourne, Australia and attended Methodist Ladies College. She was close to her parents who encouraged her interest in business, and she worked for her father’s business F.R Barlow and Sons Pty. Ltd. Ultimately, the company was publicly listed and eventually acquired.

Gwen met her late husband, Dr Alan Kenneth Head AO FRS in the mid-1940s. Once married, Gwen and Alan travelled to England on a Department of Supply studentship. Dr Head was awarded his PhD from the University of Bristol and after several years in the UK and travelling in Europe, the couple returned to Australia where Dr Head joined CSIRO and became renowned for his research into the structure of solids and their application to industry, beginning with research into fatigue cracks in aeroplanes. Dr Head had a distinguished career at CSRIO, culminating in his appointment as Chief Research Scientist.

He was also elected to the Australian Academy of Sciences in 1971 and the Royal Society of London in 1988, and further, was awarded a Doctor of Science and the Syme Medal by the University of Melbourne in acknowledgment of his contribution to science. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1992.

Gwen is a believer in empowerment through education and has a strong interest in charities that contribute to scientific and medical research. She maintains a strong interest in the visual arts and her philanthropy combines these interests.

About the Foundation

The Gwenneth Nancy Head Foundation was established to support charitable causes and celebrate the significant scientific achievements of Gwen’s late husband, Professor Alan Kenneth Head.

Australian Executor Trustees (AET, part of Equity Trustees) supports Mrs Head to review applications and evaluate charitable partnerships.

How granting decisions are made 

The Foundation supports:|

• PhD awards and bursaries in scientific excellence in the name of the Late Alan Kenneth Head
• Charities which promote access to arts and culture with a preference for visual arts,
• Charities that support research and/or the provision of care for the following medical conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Vision impairment
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer.

The Foundation will invite applications from suitable organisations for funding up to $30,000 per annum and may consider supporting multiple year funding agreements.

Download The Gwenneth Nancy Head Foundation guidelines

Contact Us 

For more information contact us by email or call us on 1800684672