Neville Bertalli’s Kooyong Foundation involvement started from him wanting to
give back to the tennis Club he has been a member of for six decades.
The Foundation, designed to enhance young people’s lives and create opportunities through tennis, presented Bertalli, a long-time philanthropist, with the perfect opportunity to make a difference.
“It’s been a very good Club to myself and my wife Di, and we’ve got nine family members at Kooyong, so we wanted to put some money and effort back into the Club,” Bertalli said.
“The Foundation takes them in from a young age, so I think that’s a good time to bring them into a Club and welcome them, and I’m sure the scholarship holders would enjoy the camaraderie and social benefits of being in this program.”
Bertalli’s significant generosity does not come with demands either, and he leaves the selection of scholarship recipients to the Kooyong Foundation Chairman and co.
Bertalli and many other donors have contributed to the roughly $3 million in donations the Foundation has raised since it was launched more than two decades ago.
Professional players Jason Kubler, John and Sally Peers, Destanee Aiava, Marc
Polmans, Omar Jasika and Andrew Whittington are among those to benefit.
Bertalli revels in witnessing the positive relationships between the scholarship holders and seeing the direction they go in the sport and life.
“Our predecessors were John and Betty Laidlaw, who supported the Foundation for more than 20 years,” he said.
“We’re very happy to follow in their footsteps because with all of our philanthropy, apart from passing over money, the secret hope is that others will follow. “I followed John Laidlaw, and hopefully someone else will follow us.”
Bertalli made his fortune from a road transport business, before investing in the computer software industry and taking over the ownership of automotive company Patterson Cheney.
His success led to the establishment of the Bertalli Foundation, a private ancillary fund that has made philanthropic contributions towards education, medical, science, arts, sports and cultural causes for about 40 years.
Bertalli’s passion for education at primary, secondary and university level is part of the Kooyong Foundation’s appeal, with many scholarship holders aspiring to play college tennis in the United States.
As a more than handy tennis player himself, he could have attended the University of Alabama on scholarship, but turned it down due to already having a commerce degree by age 19.
Bertalli’s late son, Mark, played at the University of Arkansas in the mid-1980s. “It’s a pretty good path because they, hopefully, will get an education on top of playing tennis,” Bertalli said.
“Getting a good education is not a question of intelligence, but to get a qualification or education you have to have the right attitude to life, so it makes you a bit more disciplined.”
Bertalli looks forward to hearing more of the Foundation’s success in the days ahead.
DONATE TO THE KOOYONG FOUNDATION
If you would like to join other generous donors, who are assisting the development of Kooyong’s outstanding and deserving young tennis players both on and off the court, please click on this link.
Donations to this program are tax deductable via our partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation.
Alternatively, some members have opted to remember the Kooyong Foundation in their Will as their form of support for talented young players.
For information on this option click: HERE
Donations to The Kooyong Foundation are tax deductible via our partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation and every dollar goes to the athletes as KLTC covers all the Foundation’s administrative costs.