Gayle Evans appointed Head of Engagement and Partnerships for The Bryan Education Foundation

[30 November 2022]: The Bryan Foundation is delighted to welcome Gayle Evans to the newly created position of Head of Engagement and Partnerships to drive collaboration between the Foundation and partners across philanthropy, government and NFP sectors.

Gayle will join the team in late December 2022 and The Bryan Foundation’s Executive Director, Matthew Cox said Gayle will bring an enormous depth of experience from working in the not-for-profit and government sectors together with corporate and tertiary industries.

“She is very well known in the for-purpose space in Queensland and comes to us with a career spanning all the major areas in which we operate,” Matthew said.  “She will make an immediate impact supporting our work with partners to help make a difference for kids in Queensland.”

Working with social purpose organisations for over 15 years, Gayle first connected with The Bryan Foundation while she was Associate Director of Venture Philanthropy (Qld) at Social Ventures Australia, and more recently as General Manager of Social Impact and Engagement with philanthropic organisation, Hand Heart Pocket. Gayle has worked as a senior executive and consultant for government, business, university and for-purpose organisations across Australia, India and Vietnam.

Gayle holds a Bachelor of Business (Economics) and has completed executive programs at Harvard University, INSEAD Business School and the Centre for Social Impact in social entrepreneurship, partnering, governance and strategic alliances for social impact.





Submissions OPEN for the 2023 WH Bryan PhD Scholarship in Earth Sciences

Applications CLOSE 1 March 2023 | Scholarship AWARDED end-March 2023

[26 August 2022]:  The Bryan Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now open for eligible PhD candidates to apply for the next WH Bryan PhD Scholarship in Queensland Earth Sciences, with the successful applicant to be announced at the end of March 2023.

Established in 2018 by The Bryan Foundation, the Scholarship commemorates the legacy of Professor WH Bryan MC, who made many fundamental, impactful and diverse contributions to the geology of Queensland, tertiary education and societal wellbeing.

The inaugural Scholarship was awarded to Robert Emo (pictured left) in late 2018 to undertake research at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with Professor Balz Kamber (pictured right) to investigate rare, deeply sourced rocks or xenoliths brought to the surface by volcanic eruptions.

Robert completed his doctorate at QUT in June 2022 and his thesis, Probing the lower continental crust with petrology and geochemistry of Queensland xenoliths, can be found [here]. His work is also published in several preeminent geological and scientific journals around the world.

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather WH Bryan MC and father, Bob Bryan AM, is QUT geologist Professor Scott Bryan and a Director of The Bryan Foundation.

Professor Bryan said the aim of the WH Bryan PhD Scholarship is to advance the understanding of Queensland Earth Sciences by addressing a globally significant problem leading to impactful outcomes.

He congratulated Robert Emo for his outstanding efforts completing his PhD away from his Irish homeland and during the global pandemic.

“While the world was being impacted in different ways by Covid-19, Robert was able to complete his thesis on time and make significant advances in understanding of what happens in the lower crust and how the lower crust is connected to magmas and igneous rocks we see at the surface in Queensland,” Professor Bryan said.

To read the full news story, please click here



Philanthropic groups join forces in three-year funding agreement to support Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership

Improving the wellbeing of children and families in Queensland

[12 May 2022]: The Bryan Foundation is proud to join forces with three highly respected philanthropic organisations to support the Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership (TQKP), to focus on bringing communities and workforces closer together to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for children and their families around the state.

Joining the Foundation in announcing their ongoing support for TQKP is Queensland’s largest charitable fund, Hand Heart Pocket Foundation; active supporter of rural and regional youth, The John Villers Trust, together with one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organisations, the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership was formed in 2020 by Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) to facilitate change by bringing people and knowledge together, to benefit children and young people across Queensland.

TQKP enables ARACY to provide an on-the-ground presence in Queensland with a purpose of contributing to:

  • the health, development, safety and wellbeing of all Queensland children and young people;
  • disrupting disadvantage, adversity and insecurity; and
  • building capabilities, connections and resilience.

In a nutshell, TQKP will put change in motion by translating experience and science into policy and practice.

The Bryan Foundation Executive Director Matthew Cox said the Foundation was delighted to be working with other leading philanthropic organisations to help make it happen.

“TQKP brings together everyone with an important role to play in improving things for kids in Queensland.”

“We’re looking forward to working with TQKP partners to build a 10- or 20-year program of work that will make lasting changes in communities across the State,” Matthew said.

To read the full news story, please click here


Matthew Cox appointed Executive Director of The Bryan Foundation and The Bryan Education Foundation

Former Managing Director Geoff McMahon remains as Non-Executive Director

[4 February 2022]: The Board of The Bryan Foundation and The Bryan Education Foundation are pleased to announce the appointment of widely-respected early childhood and community development champion, Matthew Cox, to the position of Executive Director of both Foundations.

Matthew replaces long-standing Managing Director, Geoff McMahon who has worked with the Bryan Family Group and its associated companies for over 30 years. Geoff will remain a Non-Executive Director of both Foundations to ensure a smooth management transition to Matthew and he will also remain on the Foundation’s Investment Committee.

Chair, Jill Simes said that while Matthew will have big shoes to fill following Geoff handing over the reins, she was confident that he would take both Foundations on their next growth trajectories based on his extensive philanthropic networks and experience in the social change space.  

“Matthew’s appointment will broaden our management expertise and we expect this to be particularly beneficial for our most recent core impact initiative, FamilyLinQ  – a collaboration between The Bryan Education Foundation and Queensland Government – which is an integrated school-based hubs initiative that connects education, health and community services.

Before joining the Foundations, Matthew was the founding Executive Director of Logan Together – one of Australia’s largest child development programs – responsible for pioneering the use of collective impact approaches to make large-scale community change.

Prior to founding Logan Together, he spent a decade leading the Red Cross’ human services program in Queensland following on from earlier careers in local government and rural and regional industries.

Matthew also serves on the boards of several state and national child development programs and social change initiatives, complementing The Bryan Foundations’ core focus of empowering young Queenslanders through education.

Jill welcomed Matthew to the team and paid tribute to Geoff’s long-standing role with both the Foundations and Bryan Family Group.

“We wish to acknowledge Geoff’s significant contribution and on behalf of the Bryan family, convey our sincere appreciation for his many years of dedication and commitment.

“Geoff has been instrumental in overseeing the growth and strategic direction of both Foundations and we are delighted that he will remain as a Non-Executive Director on the two boards,” Jill added.

News News

Queensland schools integrate family and health under one roof

Kingston State School will host a one-stop-shop for education, health and community services as part of Queensland's first FamilyLinQ school.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was partnering with The Bryan Foundation to deliver the integrated school-based hub, opening in 2023.

"This is a fantastic announcement for the Kingston State School community, connecting local families with health services and training initiatives for parents," Ms Grace said.

Pictured L to R: attending the milestone announcement on 13 October 2021 were The Bryan Foundation's Managing Director, Geoff McMahon; Member for Woodridge and Queensland Treasurer The Hon. Cameron Dick, MP; and Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing, The Hon. Grace Grace, MP.

Read The Hon. Grace Grace's media announcement here

News News

The Bryan Foundation supports three vital COVID-19 progams

Additional capital released for COVID-19 rapid response funding 

The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest health and economic crisis in modern times, which has led to The Bryan Foundation freeing-up additional capital for rapid response funding to support three Queensland-based COVID-19 programs — to help communities at risk, fund vaccine development research and clinical trials.

The Bryan Foundation is supporting the University of Queensland’s (UQ) COVID-19 Vaccine Acceleration Project.  UQ is one of four organisations globally selected by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), for funding the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Phase I clinical trials commenced on July 13, 2020 comprising 120 people in Brisbane. If that trial is successful, Phase 2 clinical trials will commence overseas involving 800 to 1,000 people.

1st photo: University of Queensland's Professor Paul Young with UQ's COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

2nd photo: Jill Simes, The Bryan Foundation's Executive Chair participates in UQ's 'Passing the Hat' COVID-19 ChangeMakers video.

View UQ's COVID-19 ChangeMakers video here

The Bryan Foundation is also supporting Logan Together’s Coronavirus Emergency Fund.  Logan Together is providing emergency relief funds and frontline services for individuals and families affected by coronavirus. Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation has also matched The Bryan Foundation’s donation, with the combined funds helping Logan Together to purchase recycled tablets, computers and data packs for families with no data access; together with helping local charities to provide home schooling, physical activity and mental health support services.

Another program The Bryan Foundation is assisting is the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Foundation Coronavirus Action Fund that is working with Melbourne’s Doherty Institute on an Australasian COVID-19 Trial known as ASCOT.  The ASCOT clinical trial is an adaptive study where different drugs can be trialled as and when required.


"A leader in business and philanthropy"

GENERATIONS: a story in the 2020 winter edition of Grammar News

It has been 70 years since Bob Bryan first walked through the front gates of Brisbane Grammar School; with his children and grandchildren also following in his footsteps.

Read about Bob’s journey from his days as a rugby-loving student to his remarkable years in business through to the creation of The Bryan Foundation — a perpetual family legacy and a means of making a difference to the lives of vulnerable young Queenslanders through education.  Pictured: Bob with his son Scott Bryan and grandsons Sebastian and Lucas.

Full story in Grammar News Winter 2020 edition here


Social Ventures Australia launches Early Childhood Education Toolkit (ECE Toolkit)

Oral language skills predict young children’s success in the classroom and life

Communication, curiosity and conversation are key predictors of young children’s success later in life, according to new best practice resources on early childhood education launched in Brisbane in March 2020.

The Early Childhood Education Toolkit (ECE Toolkit), launched by Social Ventures Australia-backed education not-for-profit, Evidence for Learning, shows that communication and language approaches consistently provide benefits for children between the ages of two and five years old.  Oral language acquisition is a predictor of a child’s success in formal classroom settings and life trajectories more broadly.

The ECE Toolkit is an accessible summary of more than 1,700 education research studies, made possible by the assistance of The Bryan Foundation. It provides an example of how philanthropy can ensure funding is invested in approaches that work best for Australian children.

To support the use of communication and language approaches, Evidence for Learning commissioned the University of Queensland to develop tip sheets for educators. They contain three oral language resources, available for free, which are based on a systemic review of current research and provide evidence-informed strategies to support rich conversations with young learners.

The launch event brought together a range of early childhood educators and policy makers from around Queensland to discuss how evidence can help great practice become common practice not just in Queensland, but across Australia.

The Bryan Foundation Executive Chair Jill Simes said the organisation was proud to partner with Evidence for Learning, saying: “The Evidence for Learning early childhood education initiative has the potential to deliver national positive impacts but also has special features to generate high value for early learning throughout Queensland.”

Chair of Evidence for Learning’s Early Childhood Education Expert Reference Council, Professor Karen Thorpe, from The University of Queensland said: “Evidence for Learning’s work in early childhood education supports educators in their everyday decision-making. By collating and analysing the most current evidence, Evidence for Learning mobilises the best knowledge in early learning research for the benefit of educators, children and our nation’s future.”

For more information about ECE Toolkit


The Bryan Foundation partners with Social Ventures Australia to extend Evidence for Learning’s reach into early childhood

Introducing “E4L ECE”

Evidence for Learning in Early Childhood Education

[26 March 2019]: The Bryan Foundation is proud to announce a new collaboration with Social Ventures Australia (SVA) to launch a ground breaking evidence based toolkit, to ensure Early Childhood Education (ECE) is being spent on programs that actually work and improve ECE practices for children before they start school.

The Bryan Foundation’s Executive Chair, Jill Simes said the new partnership with SVA was one of the most significant and ambitious projects the Foundation has embarked upon to date.

The Foundation’s funding will be used to:

  • Build and launch an Early Childhood Education Toolkit that will be a free online summary of the best evidence on early years education, in ready-to-use forms for the early years learning sector;
  • Carry out high quality early childhood education research trials on promising initiatives in an innovative model, that publicly reports findings in plain English that can change practice and speed up improvements; and
  • Recruit and fund an Evidence Advocate to engage with Queensland’s early years learning sector. This Advocate will be responsible for scouting promising initiatives, tailoring the Early Childhood Education Toolkit for different audiences and working with providers and others to mobilise the evidence and knowledge of the program.

“The E4L ECE program has the potential to deliver great national positive impacts but also has special features to generate high value for early learning throughout Queensland,” Jill said.

“The program will generate evidence to ensure early childhood expenditure is directed towards programs that actually work and the Foundation is extremely proud to partner with SVA. 

“SVA’s primary aim with Evidence for Learning is to reduce the impact of social disadvantage on student achievement by supporting teachers and school leaders to adopt and embrace evidence based research, that will achieve better outcomes within the vital early childhood learning sector,” she added.

Evidence for Learning Director Matthew Deeble says: “High-quality early learning has a significant positive effect on a child’s readiness for school, and it has the greatest benefit for those from disadvantaged families. That’s why we’re dedicated to greater evidence directed towards helping early childhood educators. As we did with our work in schools, we will consult widely and involve closely early childhood education research and practice experts as we combine the global knowledge with Australian experience to present clear and useful learning to busy early childhood educators.”

For more information about E4L ECE


MEDIA RELEASE: Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations, The Honourable Grace Grace

Grants deliver stronger connections for Queensland schools

Thirty-five Queensland schools will share in $3.3 million of philanthropic funding and support over three years to help them improve family and community engagement and enrich student learning at their schools.

Education Minister Grace Grace today [8 March 2019] announced 15 projects had received an inaugural Queensland Fair Education Program grant from national education charity, Schools Plus.

“The program provides project funding direct to schools as well as additional support from education experts to coach and mentor the schools to help them deliver their projects,” Ms Grace said.

“Among this year’s successful applicants are projects focusing on parent and student engagement, the early years and kindergarten, Indigenous language and culture, literacy, wellbeing and the transition to high school.

“The Fair Education Program aims to improve the learning outcomes for some of the state’s most disadvantaged students thanks to a commitment of $3.3 million over three years from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and The Bryan Foundation.”

As the lead in a cluster of local schools, Redcliffe State High School was awarded $250,000 over three years to deliver its Respect project.

Redcliffe State High School Principal Shona McKinlay said her school was looking forward to working with the other seven schools in its cluster to promote positive relationships between parents, carers and schools.

“This grant will allow us to employ a social worker to work with parents and carers to promote a more collaborative school community and maximise our students’ learning outcomes,” Ms McKinlay said.

“Over time, this valuable resource will be available for the other schools in our local cluster enabling families and schools to work better together in the best interests of our students.”

Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn said the grants would make an immense difference to the successful schools, located throughout Queensland from Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria to Mossman in the far north, Yelarbon in the south and Cunnamulla in the west.

“Our organisation aims to close the education gap by connecting donors who recognise the value of a great education with the Australian schools that need it most,” Ms Conn said.

“Our unique Fair Education Program is a perfect example of how we work with schools to deliver initiatives that have the greatest impact for students.

“The program has already been very successful in New South Wales so we are pleased to have the support of Tim Fairfax Family Foundation and The Bryan Foundation to bring it to Queensland.”

The $3.3 million program includes project funding of up to $70,000 for individual school projects and up to $250,000 for school cluster projects. A full list of the successful recipients can be found below.


Inaugural 2019 Queensland Fair Education Program – Successful schools

Caboolture State School

— NGARA (Hello) – Dance and Story Telling

Darling Heights State School

— Community Intensive English and cultural program for LBOTE parents

Toogooloowa School, Ormeau (Independent Schools Queensland)

— LEM Phonic Program

Pumicestone State School

— Step into Prep

Bundaberg State High School cluster (including Norville State School, Walkervale State School, Bundaberg West State School, Branyan Road State School, Avoca State School, Bundaberg    Central State School)

— Ignite Family and Community Engagement Initiative

Yelarbon State School

— Supporting children and empowering families to transition to school through engagement in kindergarten in our rural community

Redcliffe State High School cluster (includes Scarborough State School, Hercules Road State School, Clontarf Beach State School, Humpybong State School, Deception Bay State High School, Deception Bay State School, Deception Bay North State School)

— Respect Project

Loganlea State High School

— Uplift Logan – Raising the Profile of Logan Youth

Raceview State School

— Character Matters

Mornington Island State School

— Engaging parents/carers in the teaching of reading – building partnerships, adult learning and literacy, the local reading intervention team at MISS, and future employment capacity

Ravenshoe State High School

— Whatever It Takes: A program to improve learning outcomes by engaging students, their families and the wider community in tailored, flexible learning pathways

Mossman State School

— Indigenous Language Project

Marsden State High School cluster (includes Marsden State School, Burrowes State School, Crestmead State School, Waterford West State School)

— A community of exceptional learners

Kawungan State School

— RISE (Respect, Inspire, Support, Engage

Cunnamulla P-12 State School cluster (includes Sacred Heart Primary School, Eulo State School)

— Keeping early years in the spotlight (K.E.Y.S.)

For more information about Queensland Fair Education