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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 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 GortanCEO

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.

Before joining the Foundation as CEO in 2021, Michelle was a partner and the Head of Philanthropy at Mutual Trust, Australia’s premier multi-family office. She and her national team advised a portfolio of over 100 family foundations for some of Australia’s wealthiest families. Prior to this, she led the Sydney philanthropy practice of the Myer Family Company before it merged with Mutual Trust.

After qualifying as a lawyer, Michelle began her career in the intellectual property practice of Freehill Hollingdale & Page. She soon realised her passions lay outside the legal profession and moved into leadership roles in philanthropy, community and corporate partnerships, government relations, business development and marketing in the NGO and public sectors in Australia, Chile and the UK, including over seven years with the British Council. Michelle is a Certified Advisor with 21/64, a New York-based international consultancy specialising in strategy development for multigenerational family philanthropy and is currently a board director of the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network.

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. She leads a team to deliver a collective impact through public interest research and a change program all designed to secure new  investment  in on-farm natural capital.

Dr Ogilvy  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 of 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 & Administration Manager

Lisa Elliott

I’m delighted to be part of  the Macdoch Foundation because it places equal emphasis on projects that are helping both people and the planet. This means that the projects we work on and contribute to are innovative, exciting and often life-changing for all involved.

Lisa joined the Macdoch Foundation in November 2021. She holds  a Graduate Diploma in International and Community Development and a Graduate Certificate in Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies). Prior to joining the Foundation  she worked at Ethinvest, Australia’s first financial advising firm specialising in responsible investment.

At Ethinvest she was responsible for overseeing the granting process for several private ancillary funds and was the Executive Officer for Ethinvest’s public ancillary fund, The Community Impact Foundation. Lisa was also appointed Company Secretary for Ethinvest, and its subsidiary company, Australian Impact Investments. While at Ethinvest, she was instrumental in securing its BCorp accreditation when BCorp first launched in Australia.

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.

Head of Finance

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.

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 and his wife, Prue, founded 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 Group includes  Macdoch Ventures, an early stage Venture Capital investor, and the Macdoch Ag Group which comprises operations in beef cattle, wool growing and cropping, as well as investments in new technology that enable more efficient use of natural resources. All Macdoch Ag companies under his guidance 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.

He brings a lifetime commitment to sustainable agricultural practices to the Foundation ensuring our vision is embodied throughout the organisation.


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 practises full time as a Barrister-at-Law and Accredited Mediator and Arbitrator based at Queen’s Square Chambers in Macquarie Street, Sydney City. Fiona was born and raised on a sheep and cattle property in country NSW and has a long held interest in improving the quality of life, economic opportunities and well being of those who live in rural and regional Australia.  She also has a passion for the Australian outback and is a collector of Australian indigenous art.

Fiona is a Trustee and Deputy Chair of the Australian Museum Foundation and is a Mentor for an Indigenous Women’s Group on the Murray Islands, Torres Strait. She  was an elected Councillor on Woollahra Municipal Council for almost 10 years chairing various committees. She was also a Director of UNICEF Australia & UNICEF Australia Health.

Fiona is a member of The Women’s Leadership Board, Harvard Kennedy School, USA which promotes gender equality and improves lives around the world. She has a deep commitment to philanthropy and volunteers  with not-for-profit organisations including the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, the Australian Red Cross and the UNESCO World Heritage Secretariat.


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 was appointed Director of Macdoch Foundation in November 2019. He is a Director on various Boards, including the Macdoch Group.

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

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 and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia.


John Barrington

The Macdoch Foundation’s focus on self-awareness identification of risk factors and symptoms of mental health issues is vital to enabling early intervention and improving access and opportunities for regional and remote communities and enhancing the lives of people on the land.

John was appointed as one of our Directors in February 2020. He brings extensive experience as a Director on various Boards, including HCF Australia, HCF Life Insurance, Manchester Unity, Corporate Trustee of the HCF Research Foundation, Railway & Transport Health Fund and Transport Health.

He was Principal of Sydney based Barrington Legal, specialising in insurance law, superannuation, banking, and finance. Through his long career he was also General Counsel for the National Mutual Life Association, Chief Executive of CUNA Mutual and Mutual Community, and former Chairman of Intrinsic Value Investment, Albert Court Aged Care and Meridian Lawyers.

John brings a wealth of experience across law, finance, audit, and compliance to the Board.