About Us

Our mission is to help young people living in poverty break the cycle of disadvantage. We don’t assess our impact by the quantity of dollars we’ve invested but by the social change we enable.


GHF was founded by George Hicks in 1965 as a result of his desire to give back to the community that had enabled his success. As a young Victorian he left his impoverished rural beginnings and used his initiative to build Applied Chemicals, which became the largest chemical cleaning business in Australia.

Following George’s death the Foundation was led by his youngest son, Ian. Ian inherited George’s entrepreneurial nous in spades which, combined with his own vision, turned Applied Chemicals into a multinational behemoth.

Ian brings his entrepreneurial spirit and strong business principles of accountability, sustainability, and teamwork to the Foundation. Through his leadership the Foundation has moved from operating as a traditional grant maker to the innovative, social change agent it is today.