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Macdoch Foundation is the Australian philanthropic foundation of Prue and Alasdair MacLeod, established in late 2019.

The purpose of the Foundation is to build the resilience of people and the planet. Our work focuses on natural and productive landscapes; climate change solutions; and healthy communities, and where possible, the intersection of all three. We fund in Australia and the USA.

Our people

Our staff

“My hope is that we’ll play a major role in exploring and pursuing the solutions at the nexus of nature, climate and agriculture, and placing people and communities at the heart of that work.”

Michelle GortanCEO
Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Gortan

My hope is that we’ll play a major role in accelerating the deployment of nature-based climate solutions. We need to explore what is possible at the nexus of nature, climate and agriculture and place people and communities at the heart of that work.

Michelle joined the Macdoch Foundation as CEO in 2021. Before joining, Michelle was a partner and the Head of Philanthropy at Mutual Trust, Australia’s premier multi-family office, leading a national team of foundation managers providing advice and support to over 100 family trusts and foundations, as well as through a public ancillary fund, the Mutual Trust Foundation. Prior to this, she was an advisor to a number of high-profile philanthropists and family foundations at the Myer Family Company in Sydney.

Originally trained as a lawyer, Michelle began her career at Freehills in intellectual property, and she later left the law to assume leadership positions in the areas of philanthropic, community and corporate partnerships, government relations, and business development and marketing in Australia, the UK and Latin America. She is a Certified Advisor with 21/64, an NYC-based international consultancy specialising in facilitation and strategy development for multigenerational family philanthropy. Michelle is currently a board director of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network (AEGN).

Farming for the Future Program Director

Sue Ogilvy

I feel incredibly privileged and honoured to have been entrusted with the stewardship of the Farming for the Future program. Many of the important innovations in agriculture over the past few decades may not have emerged if it wasn’t for visionary philanthropists creating  the right  circumstances to allow meaningful collaboration for farmer research, practice development and investment.

Sue is the Program Director of Farming for the Future, Macdoch Foundation’s flagship program, in which she leads a team to deliver a collective impact, public interest research and change program designed to build the business case for investing in on-farm natural capital.

Sue has a PhD from the Australian National University and is Australia’s leading natural capital accounting expert. Her research to date has focused on adapting and extending financial accounting concepts and standards and developing practical and useful measurement methods to enable farmers and their advisors to include ecosystems (natural capital) as part of their asset base. Her vision is for the development of an open natural capital accounting standard that forms a foundation for social and environmental-economic improvements in agriculture and investment in natural capital.

Program Manager

Sally Garis

Australia, like the rest of the world, faces the urgent challenge of mitigating climate change and halting nature loss to ensure a sustainable future for all.  Being part of Macdoch Foundation is an exciting opportunity to contribute to a purpose-driven organisation dedicated to accelerating nature-based climate solutions.  As we look to the future, philanthropy has an incredibly important role to play in supporting ambitious, transformative change”.

Sally is the Program Manager for Macdoch Foundation’s Australian portfolio. Prior to joining the Foundation, Sally was a management consultant with leading social impact consultancy, Social Ventures Australia, where she supported a range of high-profile private, public and corporate foundations with the development and implementation of their philanthropic giving strategies.  Before this, she was the General Manager of 10×10 Philanthropy and also worked on Philanthropy Australia’s New Generation of Giving Program.  Through her roles in the for-purpose sector, Sally’s work and passion has been directed at finding and scaling innovative solutions that create a culture of giving and build the resilience of Australian communities.

Prior to this, Sally’s career in health was extensive, teaching internationally and lecturing regularly at Sydney and Macquarie Universities. She is a published author in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented her research at conferences and workshops. Sally also worked as an expert consultant to one of Australia’s leading insurers on the management of compensable injuries.

Sally holds an MBA specialising in Social Impact through the Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW). She was previously a member of Action Aid’s Arise Leadership Circle and sat on the Board of the Women’s Plans Foundation through the Board Observership Program.

Grants & Administration Manager

Claire Cornu

Philanthropy is bridging the gap in resourcing needs for our communities, climate and nature. Macdoch Foundation’s proactive and collaborative approach is not only building capacity for individuals and organisations, but actively looking for changemakers and ways in which we can create more resilient communities and positive impacts for nature. It is promising to see what we have already achieved with our partners and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Claire is the Grants & Administration Manager for both Macdoch Foundation, and the MacLeod family’s private ancillary fund, the Lansdowne Foundation. Claire has over 10 years’ experience in the arts, and the social, health and environmental impact sectors, working in fundraising, marketing and business development roles.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Claire was responsible for donor relations and engagement in NSW and ACT with Vision Australia and Seeing Eye Dogs; leading major and mid-donor philanthropy strategy and relations for Nature Conservation Council NSW; securing critical funding as Business Development Officer for multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary not-for-profit A.C.E; and managing branding, communications and sales as Marketing Co-ordinator for Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta.

Claire’s background is in filmmaking, communications and digital creation. She worked at Documentary Australia Foundation, connecting filmmakers and changemakers to philanthropists through film and impact campaigns, and before this, for design agency, End Of Work as an Account Manager. She has also worked as an independent consultant and has volunteered with health organisation, ACON.

Company Secretary

Erin Kreiss

I’m inspired by the Foundation’s bold program of work and by its proactive approach to developing projects and supporting its grant recipients.  I am passionate about health & wellbeing and am excited to be part of the Foundation’s journey to build resilience and for the benefit of the communities and the planet.

Erin brings 20 years of corporate experience across complex and rapidly changing finance and operating environments to Macdoch Foundation in her first philanthropic team role.

A Chartered Accountant, Erin is a trusted collaborator committed to delivering sound business decisions, maintaining a strong control environment and good corporate governance.

Business Operations Manager

Karin Chan

I’m passionate about Macdoch Foundation’s mission to instil positive change to the future of people, their communities and the planet. It’s inspiring to be part of a team that collaborates with like minded organisations to find the solutions to problems which fall into the “too hard basket”.

Before joining Macdoch Australia, Karin worked at GenesisCare, Australia’s largest provider of cancer care, supporting the legal team and Board of Directors as Assistant Company Secretary.  Prior to that, Karin acquired over a decade of experience in various administrative roles within the media industry at News Corp Australia, including that of an Assistant Company Secretary, supporting the corporate finance, company secretarial and legal functions.

Karin has completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Education, Philosophy and Malay Studies and is an Affiliated Member of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Executive Assistant to Alasdair MacLeod & Michelle Gortan

Louise Cliff

Louise has been Executive Assistant to Macdoch Foundation Chairman Alasdair MacLeod for over 12 years and joined the Macdoch Foundation team in 2023 as Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Gortan’s Executive Assistant.

She has 20 years of experience supporting senior executives, working in both small and large companies in Australia. Prior to joining Macdoch Foundation, Louise was Executive Assistant to the General Manager – Marketing at Caltex Australia, providing executive-level support across all facets of internal operations and external customer relations.

Louise is passionate about supporting the community.

Our board

“As a community, we face significant challenges. At Macdoch Foundation we believe that developing and implementing solutions can only be achieved by bringing the community together. My hope is that we’ll be a major contributor to this effort, in partnership with many wonderful organisations that share this goal.”

Alasdair MacLeodChairman

Alasdair MacLeod

As a community, we face significant challenges. At Macdoch Foundation we believe that developing and implementing solutions can only be achieved by bringing the community together. My hope is that we’ll be a major contributor to this effort, in partnership with many wonderful organisations that share this goal.

Alasdair MacLeod was appointed Chairman of Macdoch Foundation in November 2019.  He is the Executive Chairman of the Macdoch Group, a family office and private investment company with offices in London and Sydney. In Australia, the Macdoch Agricultural Group comprises operations in beef cattle, wool growing and cropping, as well as investments in new technology that enable more efficient use of natural resources (see more here). All Macdoch Ag companies advocate and adhere to regenerative farming principles.

Alasdair is also Chairman of  Soils for Life, a not for profit focussed on encouraging greater uptake of regenerative farming ideas.


Fiona Sinclair

I am excited and energised to be involved with the Macdoch Foundation as its focus on restoring landscapes, promoting agriculture as a solution for – not a cause of – climate change and improving personal well being and mental health in country areas, aligns with my passions. I believe that my involvement will, in a small way, help to improve the lives and futures of others and make the world a better place.

Fiona Sinclair was appointed Director of Macdoch Foundation in May 2021.  She is a Barrister-at-Law / Accredited Mediator and Arbitrator of Queen’s Square Chambers, since 2003.  She is also a Member of the New South Wales Barristers’ Association and a pro bono volunteer as part of the NSW Bar Association Duty Barrister Scheme.

Fiona is a Trustee and Deputy Chair of the Australian Museum Foundation, a Mentor for an Indigenous Women’s Group on the Murray Islands, Torres Strait, and a Member of The Women’s Leadership Board, Harvard Kennedy School USA.

Fiona was previously a Member of the ADR Committee of the New South Wales Barrister’s Association, a Director of UNICEF Australia & UNICEF Australia Health and a Councillor on Woollahra Municipal Council, Chairing various Committees.

Fiona engages in philanthropy and volunteering with not-for-profit organisations including UNESCO World Heritage Secretariat, the Australian Red Cross and The Salvation Army.


Stephen Hall

It’s vital that we restore the land for long term sustainability for future generations of farmers to continue to farm that land. That is why it’s important to me to work with the Board and Executive to implement the  mission and values of the foundation.

Stephen Hall was appointed Director of Macdoch Foundation in November 2019. He is a Director on various Boards, including Macdoch Pty Ltd and related companies, Bowral Co-Operative Limited, the Meadows Tamworth Pty Limited and Lumberah Pty Limited and related companies.

Having resigned as Chairman and an equity principal of Forsyths in 2013, he is now a Senior Consultant of the Northern New South Wales firm, Forsyths Chartered Accountants.

As a Former Official Liquidator, Stephen specialised in Insolvency Reconstruction and Litigation Support.  His qualifications include Bachelor of Economics, and he is a Chartered Accountant (Fellow membership of the Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand).


Emma Jenkin

Food systems and agriculture are critical and are under increasing pressure due to climate change. Support for rural communities, along with innovations that include regenerative agriculture, and preserving and enhancing natural capital will be required. The Foundation has a critical role to play, domestically and internationally, as a voice for these issues as well as being a catalyst and funder of innovative programs to support the transition.

Emma has over 20 years’ experience in finance across portfolio management, fixed income and impact investing. She is considered a pioneer in the climate sector, and has led a number of domestic and global innovations across the clean energy transition, ESG investing, carbon finance and emissions trading.

Initially working in investment banking, she also has entrepreneurial experience working directly in and with start-ups and early-stage ventures and has successfully established partnerships to accelerate innovation and product development. Emma was originally in investment banking.