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Thanks to the generosity of its benefactors, The Mather Endowment Trust helps transform the lives of students every year by providing access to a Friends’ education.
Funds from the Trust are used solely to provide a Friends’ education to students whose families are without the financial means to attend the School. Many students have gone on to make a positive impact locally and globally.
The Trust was established in 2011 following a generous philanthropic gift from Andrew and Jennifer Brice, a descendant of the Mather family. At the School’s founding in 1887, Joseph Mather was the Chairman of the School Committee and his brother, J Francis Mather, was the Committee’s Secretary. Numerous members of the Mather family have attended the School and served the School throughout its history as teachers and/or Board members. Andrew’s mother, Edith, also an old scholar, Quaker, staff member and Board member, was widowed with her children attending the School during the 1950s and 1960s. Tough times followed for the family until Bill Oats, Principal at the time, offered assistance to Edith telling her not to worry about the fees. This legacy is a result of this action taken during Andrew’s time as a student at Friends’.
In 2018 a further generous gift was made to the Trust by Jim and Jane Walker who were motivated by the needs-based financial assistance provided by the Trust to students each year. Jim Walker and his family have had a long association with The Friends’ School. Jim is an old scholar (class of 1943) and is descended from George Washington Walker who was among the first Quakers in Van Diemen’s Land. George Walker was sent by London Yearly Meeting of Quakers to report on the conditions of both Aborigines and the convicts in 1832. A family connection was formed between the Walker and Mather families when George Washington Walker married Sarah Benson Mather in 1841. Numerous family members have attended and served the School throughout its history.
“I would not have had access to a Friends’ education without the generous support of the people who donate towards assisting students.”
Annie Chessells (2015), Mather Trust recipient