About us

The Trust offers awards/grants for postgraduate study, performance opportunities to young Australian musicians and performing artists and general help in the furtherance of their careers while resident in the UK.

To ensure its continuance the Trust arranges regular fundraising events and concerts, invariably featuring the talented young winners of the various awards, and relies a great deal on financial support from the business sector, private donors and other loyal supporters.

The Tait Memorial Trust has raised more than £700,000 to help support young Australian musicians and dancers who need financial assistance while they are studying in the U.K. Through the Royal Over-Seas League it grants a scholarship to ‘the Australian musician showing the most promise’ in the Annual Music Competition. The Trust also grants a prize to the winner of Opera Foundation Australia’s Covent Garden National Opera Studio Scholarship. The Trust also contributes financially to the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation, Bel Canto Awards and will provide a concert platform in London to the winner.

In 2013 the Trust created a new scholarship at the Royal College of Music to be known as the ‘Tait Scholar’. This was followed by the ‘Higgins Scholar’ at the Royal Northern College of Music. In addition to this, the Trust continues to support its numerous existing awards: The John Frost/Frank and Viola Tait Award; the Sir Charles Mackerras chair with the Southbank Sinfonia; in 2014 we created the ‘Leanne Benjamin Awards’ for young Australian dancers with the Royal Ballet School, English National Ballet School; for the winner of the Australian International Opera Awards we offer grants to singers with the Wales International Academy of Voice and a special award to a finalist in the Mietta Song Recital Award in Melbourne.


Australia Day Foundation

Australian Business

Britain-Australia Society

Royal Over-Seas League

Australian Charity Art Auction

Australian Women’s Club, London

The Cook Society

Tait Structure

Isla Baring OAM

Founding Patrons
Dame Joan Sutherland AC OM DBE, Viola, Lady Tait AM,

John McCallum AO CBE, Googie Withers AO CBE

Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, John Frost AM, Julian Gavin,

The Dowager Countess of Harewood, Barry Humphries AO CBE,

Piers Lane AO, June Mendoza AO OBE,

Danielle de Niese, Ermes de Zan

Principal Partner


Justin Baring, Isla Baring, Shirley Barr,

Anne Longden, Susie Thornton

Leanne Benjamin Awards
Patron & Artistic Director, Leanne Benjamin AM OBE

Fay Curtin, Jan Gowrie-Smith, Caroline Hamilton,

Ros Higgins, Wendy Kramer, Dr. Margaret Mayston AM,

Alice McCahey, Gayle McDermott,

Patricia Nimmo, John Rendall, Margaret Rodgers,

Ann Seddon, Jacqueline Thompson, Rosemary Tuck

Music Board
Dr Helen Ayres, Caroline Almonte, Isla Baring OAM,

Jessica Cottis, Julian Gavin, Jayson Gillham,

Dr Leslie Howard, Deborah Humble,

Liane Keegan, Cameron Menzies, Katrina Sheppeard,

Anthony Roden, Chad Vindin

Honorary Member
Nicola Downer AM

Executive Director
James Hancock

Registered charity 1042797