Tabitha has worked in the philanthropy sector for over 10 year and is currently the Executive Officer of the Besen Family Foundation.
Her expertise in philanthropy, governance, the management of charitable trusts and donor relations has been developed as a manager and trustee representative for some of Australia’s most established trusts including, The William Buckland Foundation, the Alfred Felton Bequest, Charles and Sylvia Vietel Charitable Trust and the R.M. Ansett Trust as well as the grant manager for the Victoria Law Foundation and a solicitor at King & Wood Mallesons.
She is passionate about the role that philanthropy plays in the community in tackling social issues that require innovative, compassionate and sustainable solutions. Before moving into the philanthropy sector in 2008 she worked as a social justice lawyer at Justice Connect and that experience and exposure to the causes and contributors to inequality, hardship and disadvantage underpins her approach to the practice of philanthropy.
Before being appointed CEO of the Besen Family Foundation, she was the General Manager of Philanthropy Services at Equity Trustees (2009–2017) where she oversaw a portfolio of more than 450 charitable trusts with combined funds under management of $1.8 billion, distributing over $70 million annually; and managed the investment relationships with more than 30 not-for-profits (NFP) with combined investments of $300 million+.
Her skills and experience covers the full spectrum of the philanthropic sector: including the relevant law, governance and regulatory framework and taxation issues; investment oversight, discretionary grant-making, and communications, reporting and impact measurement.
Tabitha has a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Skills and Ethics (Monash University); Bachelor of Arts/Law (Monash University); and is completing the Master of Social Investment and Philanthropy (Swinburne University).
In 2007 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research free legal services for NFPs which informed the establishment of Not-for-Profit Law at Justice Connect.