“We have had the privilege of providing gifts to organisations, communities and people who are able to make a real difference in community. We have evolved our funding principles to foster Aboriginal leadership, genuine partnerships and capacity building, which have become core to everything that we support.”

Through these we hope to make worthwhile and effective funding decisions, which address real issues and create solutions, which will be owned and delivered by community.”

Paul and Sandra Salteri
Co-founders CAGES Foundation

image courtesy of ALNF

Contributing to an Australia where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People have the opportunity to reach their full potential.


Paul Salteri AM joined Transfield in 1978 and became the joint managing director in 1986, a company co-founded by his father Carlo Salteri AC in 1956 after migrating to Australia from Italy. Transfield became one of Australia’s most successful privately owned engineering firms focusing on major engineering projects such as bridges, tunnels, dams, hydro-electrical and coal power stations, oil rigs, concert halls, sugar mills and power lines. They delivered well-known projects such as the Gateway Bridge in Brisbane and the Sydney Harbour Tunnel in Sydney. The company acquired the Williamstown Dockyard in Melbourne and after wining a contract to build then ANZAC class frigates for the Australian and New Zealand governments became Australia’s biggest defence companies. In 1997 Transfield demerged and the Salteri family established Tenix and took ownership of the defence business.

Under Paul’s leadership Tenix grew quickly, acquiring Hawker de Havilland in 1998 (an aerostructers manufacturer) and expanded across the defence sector into engineering, infrastructure and services businesses. It acquired Entech which became Tenix Alliance in July 2001. Tenix sold its defence business to BAE Systems in 2008 and in 2014 the Downer Group acquired the construction and services businesses of Tenix.

Sandra's family immigrated to Australia from England in 1949 after her father, Anthony Skipton was advised to move to a warmer climate for health reasons. Her mother Gladys endured a 6 week boat trip with 9 month old twins, arriving in Perth before taking a train ride to join her husband in Penrith. Together Anthony (known as Tone) and Gladys worked hard to build numerous successful small businesses in Penrith and give their daughters a great life in their new country. The family still owns Skipton's arcade and are well known in the Penrith region.

Grateful for the opportunity to build a life in Australia and driven by their belief that it is important to give back, Paul and Sandra established CAGES Foundation as a Private Ancillary Fund (PAF) in 2009. The family worked with Social Ventures Australia Consulting (SVA) to develop a philanthropic strategy for the foundation. Paul and Sandra wanted the foundation to take a focused approach to philanthropy and to give their children an opportunity to be involved. Gemma, Anthony and Carla are all passionate about wanting an Australia where Aboriginal kids have the same opportunities that they were fortunate to grow up with and the family decided to focus on Indigenous issues. A literature review conducted by SVA indicated that the most effective way to shift life outcomes for Indigenous children was to focus on the early years and as a result of this research CAGES Foundation funds organisations that work in areas.

In 2015 CAGES Foundation co-founded the Philanthropic Benchmarking Initiative and established guiding principles in response to what we learned through our participation in the PBI and our first 5 years of operation. By 2018 CAGES Foundation had distributed more than $8 million dollars to DGR 1 organisations.

Listen And Learn

We endeavour to LISTEN and LEARN from the communities we fund to gain understanding and knowledge about issues and solutions.


We believe that open and HONEST two-way communication is integral to building successful and trusting partnerships.


We value working COLLABORATIVELY with stakeholders in community and other funders to enhance learning and impact.


We aim to be TRANSPARENT and share our learnings and activities with community to promote knowledge transfer.


We will be ACCOUNTABLE and are committed to good governance in the administration and management of our foundation as well as in our funding decisions and advocacy.


We will demonstrate HUMILITY as we recognise the virtues and talents of others and honour their inherent value.

Guiding Principles

Building on Community Assets

It is intended that all funding provided by CAGES Foundation will leave behind a greater and innate ability for Aboriginal individuals, organisations and communities to achieve improved life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children beyond the life of the funding. All funding will be directed to organisations that recognise the strong cultural, creative and innate assets of our First Nations peoples.

Long Term Comprehensive Support

We take a long-term view with our investments and where appropriate look to support organisations for a minimum of 3 years, in most cases. We are committed to funding organisation capacity building and do not limit our funding to service delivery or capital expenditure.


We strive to have open and honest relationships with community, organisations and other funders. We believe that people are critical to success and look for organisations with strong leadership potential and the ability to engage community.

Community Led

We will only support organisations that work in communities that actively seek the involvement of organisations we fund. We look to foster strong community engagement and prefer the organisations we work with to have community ownership or strong community engagement at a leadership level.


We believe that evaluation is a valuable tool to demonstrate effectiveness and highlight areas that require improvement. We prefer to fund organisations that are able to articulate program logic or are willing to develop program logic. We will evaluate the work of our foundation against our guiding principles and values and use this information to guide our future direction.

Meet The Team

Paul Salteri AM

Founder & Chairman

Paul joined the Transfield group in 1978 and rose to the position of Joint Managing Director, a position he held until the Transfield Group split in 1997 at which point he was appointed managing director of Tenix Pty Ltd. He is a Director of the Butterfly Foundation, a fellow of the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants and a Governor of the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering at the University of Sydney. He is a past Director of Austrade, a Chairman of AIG Defence Manufacturers Council and a member of the Defence Industry Advisory Council. In 1999 The Italian Government awarded him the title Cavaliere Ufficiale and in 2013 he was appointed a member of the Order of Australia for services to the building and construction industries and to philanthropy.

Sandra Salteri

Founder & Director

Sandra co-founded CAGES Foundation in 2009, she is passionate about health and education and advocates for necessary change. Sandra has a strong commitment to education especially the importance of access to music education for all Australian children. She is a long time supporter of the Education Chair of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Sydney Symphonia. Sandra is also a past director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, is a passionate musician and has been awarded an Associate Diploma in Music, Australia (AMusA) for Piano. Sandra is a loving wife and mother of three children and is proud to have worked hard as the backbone of her family for the past 40 years.

Paul Biancardi


Paul is a Chartered Accountant with over 40 years experience in Public Practice. He has specialised in Taxation Law and practice and was Chairman of Coopers and Lybrand. He has been an advisor to domestic and international companies and government agencies. Paul has been a director and chaired a number of public and private companies operating in fields of recruitment and human resources, technology, property development, hotels, infrastructure and venture capital . He has been a trustee of the Cages Foundation since its inception.

Gemma Salteri

Executive Director

Executive Director Gemma is a senior business strategist with over 12 years experience. Gemma has been an adviser to the trustees of CAGES Foundation since its inception, and was appointed a Director in 2016. She is a director of The Funding Network, an advisor for the Roslyn and Carlo Salteri Foundation and as a founding member of Philanthropy Australia’s New Generation of Giving program. Gemma is also a graduate of the Australian Companies Institute of Directors and the Chief Executive Women’s Leadership program. Gemma is responsible for the Foundation’s strategy and oversees the investment portfolio and continues to drive the move towards impact investing.

Rachel Kerry

Executive Officer

Executive Officer Rachel Kerry has over fifteen years experience in philanthropy and corporate-community relationships including grant-making roles at Perpetual and Westpac Foundation. Rachel joined CAGES in 2011 and her responsibilities at the foundation include development and implementation of the strategic giving direction, management of charity partnerships and overall administration and governance. Rachel has also spent time consulting to various non-profits around governance and establishment of strategic philanthropy programs and is the Chair of the Management Committee for Curious Works.

Carla Salteri


Carla is passionate about fitness and nutrition and helping people realise their health goals, she is Precision Nutrition Certified, a NASM qualified personal trainer in the United States, and a graduate of the Australian Institute for fitness. Carla runs her own practice in both LA and Sydney is committed to using exercise as a way to promote mental health in children and adolescents. Carla has been an adviser to CAGES Foundation since its inception.

Anthony Salteri


Anthony graduated from the University of Sydney in 2006 with a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce; he then spent the next 5 years working internationally as a professional ski patroller before returning to Sydney in 2011 to work as an analyst at LHC Capital. Anthony is a member of Philanthropy Australia’s New Generation of Giving program and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors obeservership program. He advises CAGES foundation on its investment portfolio.

Get In Touch

Tel: (02) 9051 2411

Address: 50 Holt Street, Surry Hills. 2010