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Betty Amsden OAM

The rich substance of the universe is yours to do with as you wish, just by daring to be different in your thinking.

Honour Roll

Miss Betty Amsden, OAM, is an avid volunteer and an outstanding philanthropist. A self-made woman, Miss Amsden began work at 15. During her working life she built and managed aged care facilities, lived modestly and invested astutely. Her guiding principle throughout her life has been "The harder you work, the luckier you get" and "If you have two pennies, give one away".

Over the last 30 years Betty has demonstrated extraordinary dedication, leadership and generosity in her support for multiple Victorian organisations and the populations they serve. The Victorian Arts Centre, the Australian Ballet School, the Victorian Opera, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Guide Dogs Victoria, and the RSPCA have all benefited from her support.

Betty is a patron of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Friends program of Orchestra Victoria and the Australian Ballet. She was also a benefactor to groups as diverse as Polyglot Puppet Theatre and Red Stitch Actors Theatre.

Whilst Betty's contributions are too numerous to list in full they include roles such as Governor of the Arts Centre Foundation, former Chair of the Philanthropists' Council and Chair of Capital Appeals for Guide Dogs Victoria, the RSPCA, and the 3MBS Community Radio Station.

In 1990, Betty established the Betty Amsden Arts Endowment Fund for Children with a donation of $5 million, at the time, Victoria's biggest individual donation to the performing arts. The funding allows the Melbourne Arts Centre to program the finest Australian and international performances for children and young adults and create new works for young audiences.