It’s my pleasure to let you know that, in acknowledgement of the level of your significant philanthropic support of Sydney Theatre Company, we would like to recognise you as Life Patrons. There are currently 24 Sydney Theatre Company Life Patrons, so this is a very special group of supporters, all of whom have demonstrated an enduring engagement with STC. (Danielle Heidbrink)


THE AUSTRALIAN (26 October 2022 / by Matthew Westwood)

‘Annette Shun Wah directs the OzAsia Festival in Adelaide’

(about Contemporary Asian Australian Performance/CAAP) …Another initiative was a partnership with Playwriting Australia, the play development organisation now called Australian Plays Transform, to give a leg-up to Asian-Australian dramatists. The Lotus program, supported by the Girgensohn Foundation, has mentored more than 70 emerging writers, and other programs have helped develop the skills of directors and theatre artists.

Some of the graduates of those programs are now attached to major theatre companies, such as Courtney Stewart, artistic director at La Boite in Brisbane, and Tasnim Hossain, now resident director at Melbourne Theatre Company.


Playwriting Australia 2020

From  –  REA Consulting Review 2020  –  ‘A Consolidated Vision for Plays and Playwriting in Australia’

… Cited as best practice, the Lotus program, in collaboration with Contemporary Australian Asian Performance and initiated by the Girgensohn Foundation, was seen to be a highly successful long-term vision for the development of an underrepresented Australian voice. The program was a prominent example of one which backed entry-level skills development for program participants and ultimately providing high-profile productions and connecting the new playwrights with further opportunities. …

Playwriting Australia 2019

…The Girgensohn’s leadership comes from a strong belief and commitment to the idea that the Performing Arts should, amongst many other things, reflect history and culture, educate and entertain and ultimately reflect the fabric of society. As active arts patrons (across forms) over time, the Girgensohns observed that Australian theatre programming was still very Anglo-Saxon centred, ignoring the rapid growth of a culturally diverse population. The Girgensohns were aware that there was a lack of new Australian writing programs and programming across the country, and saw a focus on adaptations and classics. They were of the belief that there was a need for change.

Their leadership is a rare combination of four factors:

  • their informed and intelligent analysis of the theatrical and cultural content;
  • their astute understanding of long term change and production structures;
  • their steadfastness and understanding that change requires significant investment and takes time to deliver results;
  • their appreciation of process and focus on results.


CareerTrackers 2017

The Girgensohn Foundation received the Chairman’s Award for showing commitment and leadership to fulfilling the vision of CareerTrackers.

Financial Review 2010

‘How good came from a year from hell’ 31 July 2010

…Thomas Girgensohn “You think, ‘OK we give money away by paying tax’ but you are not 100%happy with where that goes. You think you can do it better yourself, be more proactive and use those funds to create something that isn’t already there.” His wife says “We did not do it to be good, we wanted it to have an effect, and as soon as you know what your money actually does it’s easier to give it away.”

STC Foundation, June 2010

Andrew Upton & Cate Blanchett (Artistic Directors)

“Last year you made a generous and very much appreciated conribution to commissioning a new work for young audiences (and what a hit that’s turned out to be!)…

…Investment in artists and new theatrical forms is, we believe, a responsibility for a company of our stature, as is our investment in education and access programs which continue to expand and challenge young minds and build a healthy future for Australian performing arts.

Commissioning new work is a key part of this plan, so, as time rolls ’round to the end of the financial year in June, we are writing to you now to thank you both for the current level of support and ongoing commitment to the Company.”…

NIDA ‘Box Seat’ August 2009

Lynne Williams (Director/CEO)

…”We welcome International Director Peter Kleinert and his colleague Thomas Beyer from Ernst Busch School of Performing Arts in Berlin who will work with NIDS students to deliver the keenly anticipated ‘The Threepenny Opera‘ in the Parade Theatre. Peter and Thomas’ involvement has been supported by the Girgensohn Foundation whose generosity allows NIDA students to experience new forms of theatre and stretch their learning experience by working with international directors.”…

NIDA Foundation News May 2009

“One of the key priorities NIDA has introduced in its 50th Anniversary year is the regular engagement of international directors. Having a secure source of funding is essential in the engagement of any international artist, and having the support of the Girgensohn Foundation will allow NIDA to plan ahead with confidence…”

Cure Cancer Australia Foundation / Can Too 2008, 2009

Newsletter Spring 08

…”This year we have instigated our Centurion Program. Centurions are people who have been participants in the program and now want to get involved in a different manner. Thanks goes to our first Centurion Thomas Girgensohn who sponsored our West Program…”

Newsletter Spring 09

…”Other exciting developments include our Centurion Program which has enabled us to grow our pods to 8 in Sydney and 2 in Melbourne in 2009. We would really love to thank Thomas and Ingeborg Girgensohn,…, for paving the way in our newest drive to fund our phenomenal growth and for becoming Centurions.”