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Jeanne Pratt AC

Jeanne Pratt has devoted much of her life to community service through her support of an extraordinary range of philanthropic and arts activities.

Inducted:
2001
Category:
Honour Roll

Jeanne Pratt was born in Lowicz in Poland and migrated to Australia as an infant just prior to the outbreak of World War II, where she grew up in Sydney. Educated at Sydney Girls' High School, and Sydney University, she became a journalist and feature writer for some years in both television and print. After her marriage to Richard Pratt in 1959, she continued her career, most notably as a reported on the Channel Nine program No Man's Land.

Jeanne sat on the Board of Melbourne Theatre Company for ten years and was a Director of Spoleto Melbourne, now Melbourne Festival for a similar period of time. As the Chair of Arts 2000, the most ambitious collaborative arts event ever seen in Australia, she was instrumental in raising more than $1million for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Theatre Company, Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet and the Victorian Arts Centre. She is also a member of the Metropolitan Opera National Council in the United States and an Arts Angel at the Victorian Arts Centre.

Jeanne is a Life Governor of Opera Foundation Australia and recently retired as its Chair. Outside her arts involvement, Jeanne is a Director of Visy Board, a Director of Combined Emergency Services Victoria, a Trustee of the Epworth Medical Foundation for the past thirteen years and a Patron of Open Family Foundation. Jeanne is a Director of her family's philanthropic arm the Pratt Foundation which donates about $10 million a year to various groups,oneof which, the VisyCares Centre, is a unique one-stop shop for youth services in the Dandenong area of Melbourne.

Jeanne is also committed through patronage to Montefiore Homes for the Aged, Jewish Museum Australia, the National Centre for Women and the Museum of Lilydale and the Addiction Research Institute. During the 1980s Richard and Jeanne acquired the National Trust classified property, Raheen, and made it their family home. The dedicated and painstaking restoration and extension of this magnificent property have been admired by many.

Raheen has been made available for countless charitable functions, and since the mid 1980s it's estimated that this hospitality has raised $80 million for charity. In 1998, together with Richard, Jeanne established The Production Company. The Production Company is a non-profit organisation assembled to provide work opportunities for performers and others in the Arts and related industries, as well as establishing itself as a leading arts organisation presenting shows that are commercially viable.

Jeanne is hands-on in all facets of the company. Jeanne's work within the community was acknowledged by the Government in 1989 with an Order of Australia and again in 1998 when she was presented with a B'nai B'rith International Gold Medal for distinguished services to the community and to the Arts.

Reviewed 25 May 2022

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