Ripple effect: The Marshall White Foundation story

Image of microphone

The inception of the Marshall White Foundation traces back to a profound personal loss endured by its founder, James Connell, and his wife, Emma. Their lives were irrevocably altered with the passing of their daughter, Lily, at the age of nine, due to an asthma attack.

03 August 2023

In the wake of their heartrending loss, the couple experienced a tremendous outpouring of support from Lily’s school community. A sense of deep gratitude towards the school and a desire to honour Lily’s memory inspired them to establish a scholarship program. Their intent was to create an enduring legacy for their daughter, a scholarship that would continue to support deserving students in perpetuity. 

The profound impact of their initial endeavour began to unfold when they started receiving letters of thanks from the beneficiaries of the scholarship. These heartfelt correspondences opened their eyes to the far-reaching implications of their initiative. It wasn’t just the students who were benefiting, but their families too, and this effect would ripple outwards for years to come. 

Encouraged by this realisation, the seed of an idea grew in James’ mind—the concept that eventually developed into the Marshall White Foundation. His vision was to provide meaningful assistance to individuals who had endured significant hardships, not just as a temporary measure, but with a view to impacting their lives positively and indefinitely. Thus, what began as a personal tribute to a beloved daughter evolved into a powerful, lasting force of support for those facing adversity. 

The Marshall White Foundation continues to make a profound difference, transforming lives and strengthening communities through its unwavering commitment and generous support. 

“Two types of philanthropy exist; one focuses on present needs, the other prepares for the future. Our ambition is to create enduring positive impacts on innumerable lives.” – James Connell 

About the Marshall White Foundation

Founded in 2015, the Marshall White Foundation emerged with a mission to bring about a notable change for those suffering hardship, especially within our local communities in Melbourne.  

To date, the Foundation has amassed over $3 million with a mission to aid some of Victoria’s most vulnerable groups, including women facing homelessness, victims of domestic violence, and those confronting mental health challenges.  

In response to the increasing housing crisis, the Marshall White Foundation, in collaboration with Launch Housing, initiated the Parachute Fund in 2022, so far assisting 105 in-need individuals. Our partnership with You Matter has also enabled the creation 45 safe havens, sheltering over 100 women and children as of July 2023.