The Patron's Group - Bethesda Foundation
The inaugural Patron’s Group of the Bethesda Foundation have all individually had success as business people and philanthropists. Rhonda Wyllie (Chair, Patron’s Group), Maryanne Bell and Russell James are all individuals who have a strong connection with Bethesda Hospital as well as personal experiences that have drawn them to give back to the community and contribute positively to society.
West Australian property developer Rhonda Wyllie is well known as a philanthropist. Through the community arm of her family’s business, she has provided substantial gifts to capital projects for West Australian-based charities including Princess Margaret Hospital, Telethon, the Salvation Army, the University of WA, the Arthritis Foundation of WA, funding of the Lion’s Institute Centre and its research and the Speech and Hearing Centre for Children. She provides ongoing support to a large number of charities, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
Rhonda is a generous donor to the Bethesda Foundation, recently supporting a significant aesthetic upgrade to the Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit as well as the purchase of equipment for increased levels of patient comfort including chairs for the patients’ bedside and pressure mattresses. Rhonda’s donations have resulted in a significant refurbishment of the Palliative Care Unit day room, which is used extensively by patients’ families and friends.
Russell James is a Perth-born, New York-based fashion and art photographer, philanthropist and social entrepreneur. Over the past two decades, Russell’s images have become synonymous with unique perspectives of many of the most prominent people of our time in the worlds of entertainment, fashion and beauty. Russell is also renowned for his fine art project entitled Nomad Two Worlds
, informed both by Australia’s ancient past and by an unfolding, present-day political narrative and, after expanding to include other countries and cultures, has become a global example of cultural collaboration and reconciliation in action. The Nomad Two Worlds
“Haiti” collection is also supported by the Clinton Global Initiative (of which James is a member), and has recently been showcased in Haiti, Washington, D.C. and London. Nomad Two Worlds
has today evolved into a socially conscious business dedicated to supporting indigenous and marginalized communities worldwide through artistic collaboration and creation of economic opportunity. In 2013, Russell was honored with the “Western Australian of the Year – Arts & Culture" award.
In 2010, Russell was instrumental in collaborating on a Bethesda Hospital fundraising evening, donating his time and allowing his artwork to be displayed. Three of his pieces remain in the Hospital Café for the enjoyment of patients, staff and the community-at-large.
West Australian business woman and former all-Australian netballer representing the State of Western Australia 13 times and Australia twice, Maryanne received the Australian Sports Medal and honoured in netball’s Hall of Fame in December 2014. She is a music composer and producer and has a background in public relations and marketing focused on major events. Following the death of her husband Lindsay in 2002, she took on a role of Board Member with the Leukaemia Foundation. Maryanne’s business activities take her overseas regularly, with her company being responsible for securing renowned French composer, performer and music producer, Jean Michel Jarre (currently known for outdoor spectacles of his music featuring lights, laser displays, and fireworks) for a major event in Perth.
Maryanne has been intimately involved with the 2014 Bethesda Foundation Charity Ball, namely securing Mike DeGuidice and members of the Billy Joel Band from New York as the evening’s entertainment.