About the Brian M. Davis Charitable Foundation

Brian M. Davis (1930-2021) was one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and built the Décor company into a household name. Through decades of product innovation, he improved people’s lives in immeasurable ways.

He was also generous, engaging in a range of philanthropic activity for which he sought no recognition, only results. It is Brian M. Davis’ entrepreneurial spirit, creative thinking and determination that we bring to our grantmaking.

Our mission is lasting, transformational change for disadvantaged children and young people.

Today’s problems are more complex and interlinked than ever, and no one person or organisation can solve them alone.

We champion community-driven effort, supporting innovative approaches that bring people, resources and ideas together.

We enable our grant partners to effectively and sustainably advance solutions that deliver lasting progress and drive meaningful change.

In doing so, we further Brian’s legacy by improving the health and equity of contemporary society, and for the benefit of future generations.

Our commitment is significant and enduring because change takes time.

Brian M. Davis: entrepreneur, pioneer, philanthropist.

Philanthropy is most impactful when it is daring and brave.

Tucked inside the kitchen cupboards of most Australian homes is a lasting reminder of the remarkable life of Brian Myddleton Davis.

The man who would go on to create the Décor brand and bring world-class design, creativity and innovation to Australian homewares, was born in Broome, Western Australia, in the first year of the Great Depression. Brian had a happy childhood and spent some of his early years designing and building model boats and billycarts. His love of design and being a stickler for doing things properly had begun.

In 1958, Brian established Brian Davis and Company Pty Ltd from a desk in his bedroom and with just 1000 pounds in the bank. The company adopted the original Décor trademark. One of Décor’s first products, the Habana beaker set of six plastic tumblers, which fitted into an airtight container, was an instant success. This was quickly followed by the first modular and stackable airtight food containers.

Brian’s philosophy was that his products should be simple, work well and be readily available. It was a winning combination. During the 55 years that Brian ran Décor, the company received more than 300 awards for excellence, including for Décor’s famous Insulated 2 Bottle BYO Wine Cooler, which is a permanent exhibit in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Brian was described by his closest friends as courteous, caring, and decent, a man of few words but a very good listener. Despite never having children of his own, Brian had a lifelong desire to help disadvantaged children and youth.

He gave generously to a wide range of organisations that could help people in real need. He never sought recognition and often donated anonymously – whether personally, by the Décor Corporation, or by his charitable foundation – to ensure there was no fuss about his generosity.

While he will be remembered as a pioneer in design and a successful businessman, Brian's lasting legacy will be the lives he changed by quietly donating the money he made to help others in need.

Read Brian's full life story


The Foundation is overseen by a team of dedicated directors and staff who strive to honour the legacy of our founder and work towards positive change in our community.

Board and staff of Brian M. Davis Charitable Foundation. L to R: Steve Hammerton, Simon Marsh, Trevor Stringer, Anita Hopkins, Sarah Bartak, Rob Jeremiah. (Absent: Katherine Ellis, Deb Tsorbaris)
Trevor Stringer, Chairman

Trevor is retired and a former member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia & New Zealand for 40 years. He was the Finance Director of The Décor Corporation Pty Limited for 23 years with operational responsibilities including Warehousing & Logistics, IT, HR, and Customer Service. Trevor worked with Brian Davis for the first 16 of those years. Prior to joining Décor, Trevor was Finance Director for Black & Decker Australia.

Katherine Ellis, Director

Katherine is the CEO of Leadership Victoria. She has over 30 years’ diverse leadership experience across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Katherine's previous roles include CEO of the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic), Director of Youth Affairs at the Commonwealth of Nations in London, and CEO of the Reach Foundation. She holds a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Master in e-Business, a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Diploma of Youth Work.

Steve Hammerton, Director

Steve is a managing director with corporate advisory firm Flagstaff Partners and has over 20 years of investment banking and corporate finance experience in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Steve holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) from Monash University, is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and a Fellow of FINSIA (Financial Services Institute of Australasia).

Rob Jeremiah, Director

Rob is a principal with law firm Sladen Legal. He is a Chartered Tax Adviser, accredited by the Law Institute of Victoria, as a specialist in both tax law and commercial law. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) and Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com) from the University of Melbourne.

Simon Marsh, Director

Simon Marsh is a Chartered Accountant and was a partner of global firms BDO and PKF for more than 30 years. His experience includes investment portfolio management and development, corporate governance development and compliance, financial management, taxation compliance and financial reporting as it applies to not-for-profits and charities. Since retiring as a partner of BDO, he has continued to hold directorships with several private companies and has also been a director of a number of not-for-profit organisations.

Deb Tsorbaris, Director

Deb Tsorbaris is the CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare. Deb has over 35 years of experience in the not-for-profit and public sectors and has held executive positions in organisations working in youth services, disability support, homelessness assistance, drug and alcohol services, and employment. Deb provides policy leadership to both state and federal governments and makes significant contributions to the child and family services sector.

Anita Hopkins, Executive Officer

Anita is a highly experienced philanthropic executive, strategically working with private, corporate and community foundations, as well as individual donors. For the past two years she has also been managing the Portland House Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she led the Jack Brockhoff Foundation for five years. She holds an MBA (Monash) and is currently completing a Masters of Social Impact (CSI,Swinburne).

Sarah Bartak, Grants Program Manager

Sarah has worked for over 17 years in the philanthropic sector across all aspects of grantmaking, program management and communications at a number of foundations including Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. Prior to this, she worked in the for-purpose sector and, having been on each side of the funding fence, brings both grantmaker and grantseeker perspectives to inform her work.

Learn more about our grants and grant partners
Resources and Reports