Hugh D.T. Williamson

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Hugh D.T. Williamson

Hugh Dean Thomas Williamson

(1901-02-04)4 February 1901
Died20 December 1985(1985-12-20) (aged 84)
EducationBallarat Agricultural High School, 1917
Years active1918–1961
EmployerANZ Bank
Known forPhilanthropy
TitleGeneral Manager, ANZ Bank
SuccessorC.R. Darvall
Board member ofWilliam Buckland Foundation
SpouseLouise Buchanan McPherson (1929–1983)
PartnerElaine Berkefeld (abt. 1961–1985)
  • John Christopher Williamson
  • Jane (née Thomas) Christopher

Hugh Dean Thomas Williamson C.B.E.[2] (1901-1985) was an Australian banking executive and philanthropist.

Williamson was born 4 February 1901 in Ballarat and died 20 December 1985 in Melbourne. He was the son of John Christopher Williamson and Jane (née Thomas) Williamson. In 1929 he married Louise Buchanan McPherson. Near the time of his retirement they began living apart. He met Elaine Berkefeld, who became his companion for the remainder of his life.[1]

Williamson spent 44 years in banking, beginning in 1917 with the Ballarat Banking Company. He spent most of his career with the former Bank of Australasia and following the merger with ANZ rose to the position of general manager of ANZ Bank, a position he held for seven years until his retirement in June 1961.[3][4][5][6] As general manager, he was responsible for eliminating the fractious attitudes following the merger, smoothing an adversarial relationship with the central bank, mechanizing back office operations, and improving branch efficiencies.[1] He was a past president of the Australasian Institute of Banking and Finance, a predecessor of FINSIA, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.[7]

Post-retirement he applied the profits from his extensive investments to support his community interests, which included the Salvation Army and the trust of the Victorian Arts Centre.[8] Through Williamson's will, the Hugh Williamson Foundation was established in 1986, and distributes more than A$1M per year.[8] The Foundation focuses on multiple projects, including the arts[9][10] the environment,[11] scholarships[12] and community leadership, in particular the eponymous Williamson Community Leadership Program (which later became Leadership Victoria).


  1. ^ a b c Merrett, D.T. (2012). "Biography - Hugh Dean Thomas Williamson - Australian Dictionary of Biography". National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  2. ^ "It's an Honour - Honours - Search Australian Honours". 10 June 1961. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  3. ^ The Pastoral Review, Volume 71, p. 33, at Google Books
  4. ^ Burroughs Clearing House, vol. 45, Burroughs Adding Machine Company, 1960, p. 77, retrieved 30 January 2014
  5. ^ Sandilands, Jane, Hugh Williamson C.B.E.: Philanthropist, Melbourne: Hugh Williamson Foundation, ISBN 0-9578120-0-0
  6. ^ "The University of Melbourne Archives : The Hugh Williamson Foundation". Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  7. ^ "Hugh DT Williamson Scholarship". Financial Services Institute of Australasia, Australia. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Hugh DT Williamson Foundation". PhilanthropyWiki. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  9. ^ Preserving the past, enriching the future Hugh Williamson's legacy, National Gallery of Victoria, archived from the original on 26 January 2014, retrieved 9 February 2013, His personal interest in the arts meant that both the National Gallery of Victoria and the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery benefited greatly from his generosity.
  10. ^ "Hugh D. T. Williamson Foundation Gallery and Oliver Family Room – Australian Art 1985 to the present". Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Bug Blitz". Bug Blitz. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Hugh DT Williamson Scholarship". Retrieved 26 January 2014.

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