Today, my role is titled Chief Executive Officer of State Trustees, the Public Trustee for Victoria, however, had I been serving in this role in Australia back in 1874, my title would have been Master of Lunacy and/or Master in Equity. The sheer thought that someone could have that as a professional title is mortifying in this day and age, but the language used to describe our most vulnerable community members back then was even more horrific.
Shortly after I became the Chief Executive Officer at State Trustees, I began researching State Trustees’ history to assist with informing a series of external presentations. Through my research, it became apparent that what was thought to be known about State Trustees was inconsistent and in conflict with other knowledge of State Trustees.
The office of the Public Trustee has a long and curious past that stretches back to medieval times, and it proved interesting winding back the clock and learning about our and the sector’s history. Underpinned by cultural understanding and ageism, I sought to create an important piece of literature that would contribute to the stock of knowledge generally, but that would also highlight the interesting story of Australia and New Zealand’s Public Trustees.
The book talks openly about the sector’s creation, its evolution, its challenges and the benefit that Public Trustees provide to the community. While writing the book was challenging, and there were moments of pure frustration, I enjoyed writing The Creation of Trust and putting the pieces of our history together.
On Monday 28 August 2017, at Parliament House in Victoria, I was extremely proud to see The Creation of Trust officially launched. I was honoured to be joined by so many colleagues and stakeholders who attended to celebrate the launch of my first book, the evening was hosted by the State Trustees Chair, The Hon. Jennifer Acton, and the book was officially launched by the Treasurer of Victoria, The Hon. Tim Pallas MP.
The reach of the role of the Public Trustees has also crossed into circles of music and politics when Midnight Oil front man The Hon. Peter Garrett AM read the manuscript and wrote the foreword for the book. Peter’s great grandfather, test cricketer Thomas William Garrett, served as the first Public Trustee for the State of New South Wales and quickly became an influential thought leader in social policy development. I am incredibly honoured to have such an inspiring, influential and successful individual take the time to write the foreword for the book.
The Creation of Trust is a facilitating read and at times a very confronting read. I encourage you to buy a copy of the book. The book provides a captivating look back at the evolution of the trustee industry and the role Public Trustees have played. When buying your copy you should know that all profits from the sale of this book go to the State Trustees Australia Foundation, a charitable trust that aims to make a difference to the community by supporting those in need. Last year, the charity distributed approximately $3.5 million, just another way that we make a positive impact on the Victorian community.
So, before you do anything else, order your copy of The Creation of Trust here.