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‘I like to decide where my tax goes ... to support the arts’

‘I like to decide where my tax goes ... to support the arts’

Jenny Tatchell is a Patron of Melbourne Recital Centre, supporting its vibrant and diverse music program. Here Jenny shares why it’s important to her.

Jenny Tatchell

Jenny was introduced to music by her partner of 40 years, Pauline Speedy.  Through Pauline’s love for music, Jenny’s interest grew.  Both were regular concert-goers at the Centre, from the time it first opened until Pauline passed away in June 2016. After Pauline’s death, Jenny felt a responsibility to continue supporting Pauline’s passion for music with an annual gift to the Centre. Jenny continues to come to the Centre often, especially to hear artists perform in the Primrose Potter Salon.

On the tax-deductibility of donations

I like to decide where my tax goes. I choose to support the arts. I see the tax-deductible nature of a donation as a way of voting with my dollar and supporting something that is important to me. Late last year, I donated to Name a Seat in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in memory of Pauline. This donation supports the Centre’s Learning and Access activities, and the depth and diversity of the music program. It’s important for me to remember Pauline in this philanthropic way, in a place that celebrates the music she loved.

Melbourne Recital Centre as a hall for the local community

A sense of community is important to me. I think it’s important to have a place where people can come together, to communicate through art, to learn something new. I consider the Primrose Potter Salon to be my local community hall and come along several times each week. There are always familiar faces in the foyer, and I know the regular concert-goers by name. It’s wonderful to talk about what we have all seen, heard and experienced – something challenging and new, or more well-known. I’m always impressed by the extent of musical knowledge of some people! 

The best aspects of supporting the Centre

Melbourne Recital Centre offers Patrons the opportunity to engage more deeply with what they love at the Centre. I also enjoy meeting other people who donate. You meet the artists that perform here, you go behind-the-scenes, you are invited to a range of interesting special events and presentations. Opportunities to learn are important to me, and I find the pre-concert talks and master classes with visiting international performers wonderful. I have learnt a lot about music from observing master classes.

The importance of donor recognition

Being thanked is important to me. I think arts organisations have a responsibility to say thank you to donors, no matter how small the donation. It’s also important to communicate where the donation is going and what the impact has been. The thanks I receive, the opportunity to learn new things at the Centre, and the knowledge that my contribution is making a difference along with that of others, is all very rewarding. I enjoy the sense of community that comes from being a Patron.  

With around 600 concerts at the Centre each year, Melbourne audiences are treated to diverse music by local, national and international artists. The beautiful acoustic and warm intimacy of both performance spaces at the Centre – the Primrose Potter Salon and Elisabeth Murdoch Hall – make these experiences even more profound and unforgettable! Known as the best place to hear, the Centre also provides a strong sense of community and connectedness for concertgoers, meeting in the foyer spaces before and after concerts, getting to know each other by name.

Donors to the Centre’s Music Circle support the depth and vibrancy of the Centre’s musical program. Donors like Jenny play a crucial role in ensuring that we can continue to present a rich diversity of the greatest musicians and ensembles from Australia and around the globe. 

If you’d like to support Melbourne Recital Centre’s Music Circle program, please contact Leonie Thompson, Philanthropy & Bequests Coordinator, on (03) 9207 2648 or

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