Meet the Foundation Council

The Foundation Council comprises of the following members

Andrew Gwinnett

Andrew Gwinnett has held the role of Chair of the AGSA Foundation since 2012. Andrew and his wife Hiroko, who are long-standing Gallery benefactors, were in 2016 recognised for their generosity with the naming of a room in the Elder Wing as the Gwinnett Gallery. Although an engineer by trade and a former President of the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers Canberra, Andrew has a keen interest in all forms of visual art. The Gwinnett Family are major donors to AGSA and recognised at Founder level of the AGSA Foundation. Andrew and Hiroko have been extraordinary donors to the Gallery, particularly to the Japanese collection. Over thirty years they have given a remarkable array of works, from outstanding printed screens and monumental sculptures to exquisite ceramics, rich textiles and rare scroll paintings. They have also committed many years of selfless service to the Gallery. Hiroko was a member of the Foundation Council between 1999 and 2011, while Andrew was a member of the Art Gallery Board between 2004 and 2014, serving as its Deputy Chair from 2010 to 2014. In his current capacity as Chair of the AGSA Foundation, he spearheaded the campaign to secure the French Impressionist painting Prairie à Éragny by Camille Pissarro – the Gallery’s most ambitious acquisition thus far. Andrew is also a non-executive director of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation in Canberra and President of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce SA. The couple reside in Adelaide with their sons Arata, Adam and Aaron.

Susan Armitage

Susan Armitage is a Non-Executive Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia Board, joining the Board in 2015 and the Council in 2012. Susan has extensive experience in finance, investments and philanthropy and has held senior executive positions at Macquarie Group from 2007 to 2016 and Goldman Sachs JB Were from 1997 to 2007. Susan is currently the Chair of the Acquisitions Committee of the Art Gallery of South Australia & is a member of the Board Funds Management Committee of the Gallery. With a keen interest in philanthropy and the Arts, Susan has previously been a Foundation Board member of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and a Member of the Commissioner’s Council for the Venice Biennial - Australia Council for the Arts.

Pam McKee

Pam McKee has been a member of the Foundation Council since 2012. She spent forty-five years working as a senior social worker and narrative therapist, predominantly in psychiatric hospitals, and had a particular interest in adults who had experienced significant childhood trauma. She pioneered the use of videoconferencing from Glenside Psychiatric Hospital to provide narrative therapy to clients in rural and remote areas. Pam and her husband David have had a long-standing interest and involvement with AGSA, particularly as founding and ongoing members of Contemporary Collectors and participants in the annual Collectors Club Dinner. As major donors to AGSA, Pam and David are recognised at Governor level of the Foundation.

Dr Joe Verco

Dr Joe Verco AM has been a member of the Foundation Council since 2016. A paediatric dentist, Joe is a leader and mentor in his field, advocating for the best in dental care for Australian children. In 2016 Joe pressed for the Child Dental Benefits Scheme, which resulted in subsidised dental care for 3.4 million Australian children, representing almost 15% of the Australian population. Joe is passionate about the arts and philanthropy. In addition to his role as a Council member for the Foundation, Joe is a board member of the Adelaide Festival Centre, the Chair of the board for the Centre for Creative Health and a life member of both the National Trust and Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. In 2017 he was made a member of the Order of Australia for his significant service to paediatric dentistry.

Anna Baillie-Karas

Anna Baillie-Karas is the founder and co-host of the Books On The Go podcast and Chair of the Adelaide Festival Foundation. Anna was formerly a commercial litigation lawyer and also worked as a secondary school teacher. She lives with her husband Jason and their children Zoe and George in Adelaide. Anna and Jason are AGSA Foundation members and annual Collectors Club Dinner attendees. With a passion for contemporary Australian art, Anna and Jason are also Contemporary Collectors Benefactors.

Cherise Conrick

Cherise Conrick is Creative Director and founder of TypeSpace# design studio, based in Adelaide. Through strong communication, relationships and strategic design, Cherise has helped to build extraordinary brands where creativity meets function – collaboration is key, but detail is king. An advocate for the broader design and art communities, Cherise has a strong passion for the education and mentorship of emerging Australian designers. She held leadership positions on the design industry body Australian Graphic Design Association for ten years and worked as a sessional university lecturer at the University of South Australia for nine years. Cherise is a long-standing committee member of AGSA’s Contemporary Collectors, where she has provided key strategic input into several major acquisitions and projects, including Big Mother in 2010, the Director’s Project (2011–2014) and the Ambassadors Program in 2013.

Ex Officio

M.J.M Carter, AO

Max Carter, AO is one of Australia’s greatest living donors. Aged ninety-three, Max has been a generous benefactor to AGSA for over fifty years. A champion of the Australian and Asian collections, he has almost single-handedly transformed the Gallery’s Australian colonial collection into one of the nation’s best and has enriched the cultural heritage of all South Australians. His donations have at times been monumental, resulting in 1992 in a section of the Elder Wing of Australian Art being named the M.J.M. Carter Gallery in recognition of his extraordinary munificence. Max has been equally generous in giving his time and energy. In 1968 he was appointed to the Gallery’s Board, filling the position left vacant by the death of Hans Heysen, and he served for a total of eighteen years over several terms. He was also Chairman of the Foundation between 1999 and 2002 and remains its long-standing Deputy Chair.

Mary Abbott

Mary Abbott is an avid art collector and major donor who is intrigued by detail and the story behind the creation of an artefact – the history, the purpose and the aesthetic. Mary’s collecting began in the late 1960s, as a combined effort with her then husband. With the Art Gallery’s encouragement, the Abbotts amassed an extraordinary collection, specifically of South East Asian textiles, ceramics and artefacts. An ongoing appreciation of the ethnology of textile and its connection to art has seen Mary maintain an affiliation with the Art Gallery for over 40 years and an association with the Foundation since the 1980s. Collecting has been a life passion, with a recent trip being to Uzbekistan filling a missing link in her journey and appreciation of art along the Silk Road. Mary has generously donated several works of art, predominantly in the Asian Art collecting area, to the Art Gallery of South Australia and is acknowledged at Founder level of the Foundation for her generous benefaction to the Gallery.