May 2019 saw the launch of the Sheila Foundation. Sheila is a national foundation that addresses the historical and continuing gender bias against women in Australian art. It will paint Australian women artists back into our history, assist and celebrate contemporary women artists and support the unique Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art at The University of Western Australia. Comprising over 700 works, it is Australia’s largest stand-alone collection of women’s art and has been described as “a tremendous resource for the rethinking of Australian art”. In 2007 Lady Sheila and her family set up a private foundation to support the Collection and advocate for women artists, and in 2017 it transitioned to Sheila Foundation Ltd, a public foundation.
The aim is to achieve an endowment fund of $2 million, building on the Cruthers family’s initial donation of $600,000 to enable the Foundation to bring these programs to life.