Our vision

Our vision A Mornington Peninsula where learning and opportunities are optimised for all children.

Our mission

Our mission is to support communities on the Mornington Peninsula to break the cycle of disadvantage.

Our approach

When we started in 2017 our focus was finding out the core drivers of disadvantage. We’ve learned about the complexity of individual, family and community circumstances through listening to the people closest to the issues.
By working closely with over 15 schools and 25 community organisations we’ve gathered place specific information that informs our work.

We use our place based knowledge and connections to coordinate an ever growing network of community, donor, business and government partners to increase inclusion and access to community resources and opportunities.

We don’t deliver programs ourselves. We support community partners who do.

Our guiding principles

  • Disadvantage is systemic and requires a systemic response.
  • Early intervention and prevention can save enduring suffering and a lot of public money.
  • People closest to the issues have the greatest insights into the system, but are often not asked for their inputs.
  • There is a wealth of resources in the community, which can be part of solving these problems, if coordinated.
  • Everyone has something to contribute and it is contribution that overcomes exclusion.

Our role

We are an intermediary, independently funded by the George Hicks Foundation.

We link unmet needs in the community with resources.

We make grants to community partners with funds contributed by over 170 donors.

When we formed in 2017 we took a wide and shallow strategy which has been honed to deep and narrow through the development of larger, linked up projects that require larger, longer term funding.

We do not have grant rounds or application forms as such, but are open at any time to approaches from the community and from donors and will always investigate within the bounds of our remit to address systemic disadvantage on the Mornington Peninsula.

Our structure

MPF was established as a Public Benevolent Institution in 2017.

We are a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) DGR Item 1, providing tax deductibility for all donations, As the George Hicks Foundation generously covers our running costs, all donations are paid in full as grants to community partners.

We have a board of 11 and EFT staff of 2 and an ever growing network of community, donor, business and government partners united in our mission to support communities to break the cycle of disadvantage.

Our Founder

Ian Hicks AO is Chairman of his family foundation, the George Hicks Foundation (GHF), and the inspiration behind the Mornington Peninsula Foundation (MPF).

The GHF was formed in 1965 by Ian’s father, George, to give back to the community that had enabled him to make good in business. After leaving school at 14 with a hunger to see the world and a desire not to follow his father into debt collection, George worked hard to build Applied Chemicals, which became Australia’s largest and most successful supplier of chemical cleaners.

With vision and entrepreneurship, Ian took Applied Chemicals to international heights with hundreds of employees in numerous countries, selling it in the early 2000s, moving into venture capital, hospitality and philanthropy.

Applying innovation to philanthropy as he had in business and as Chair of GHF, Ian led the Foundation through a series of changes, including to a place based focus in 2014. As a long time resident of the Mornington Peninsula and in response to the mostly hidden, but deeply entrenched levels of disadvantage, GHF concentrated on that region and those issues for three years.

Increasing collaboration with more and more donors, as well as extensive consultation with community partners, led in 2017 to the formation of the MPF as a more flexible legal entity able to build on the progressive work of GHF. Fellow founding Directors, Andrew Fairley AM and Dr Genevieve Timmons, established the philosophical and ethical framework which has served it well as it pushes the boundaries of traditional philanthropy.

Since formation, GHF has fully funded the running costs of the MPF which has inspired donors of all sizes and aspirations to contribute to the pool of funds that drives the strategic grants process. This funding is committed from 2017 – 2027.


MPF is a Public Benevolent Institution with Deductible Gift Recipient Item 1 tax status. All donations are tax deductible. In 2017 the George Hicks Foundation made a ten year commitment to fund the operational costs of the MPF. Projects are funded with donations from our wide range of donors.