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Dedication to Lian Deng Tan : A foundation built on a heritage of helping and giving
Many organisations are a reflection of their founder’s values and personality. In the case of La Moneta Foundation, this very much holds true.
Born in Shanghai, China, Jessie Shen comes from a family with a long heritage of helping the less fortunate since Ching Dynasty.
Her childhood was a happy one, thanks to the unbounded love, affection and support of her parents. As she recalls it, ‘my early years were full of love and joy. I was taught to believe that my options were limitless and that whatever path I chose, I would always have my family’s support.’
It was with her father’s encouragement that Jessie moved to Melbourne after turning eighteen. Following his advice, she enrolled in a Banking and Finance degree at Monash University. During her studies, she lived with relatives from her mother’s side in Springvale, one of the more vibrant and multi-cultural parts of the city.
Her father’s advice paid off. Jessie’s aptitude for academics saw her complete her degree and then continue on to post-graduate study. She graduated in 2003, now with a Masters of Practical Accounting. Her passion in real estate and finance industry has gained her many years of experiences in listed and international organisations. With all this going on, while also bringing up a young family, Jessie somehow managed to fit in extra study, completing a Graduate Certificate in Australian Migration Law and Practice at Victoria University.
Throughout her glittering corporate career, Jessie has remained true to the values instilled by her family, particularly by her father. In all endeavours, she has always put ethics first. As she says, ‘I felt like success meant nothing if it came at someone else’s expense. In all my different roles, I genuinely tried to help people. I always sensed that this was the true path to living a fulfilling life.’
While Jessie was perhaps always destined to devote herself to humanitarian goals following her great grandfather’s path, given her natural generosity, a turning point arrived in 2019, when she suffered an episode of depression. Although a devastating experience, this saw her reflect deeply on how she was living her life. She says, ‘the experience brought home how fragile life can be. I already knew that real fulfilment comes from helping others, but this motivated my decision to put all my energy into humanitarian work. This, and a desire to be a good role model for my two sons.’
In this way, La Moneta Foundation was born.
Jessie describes the Foundation’s mission like this: ‘I want La Moneta to be a beacon of light in difficult times. We live in a world where the geo-political climate is increasingly ominous, global warming threatens our future and despite improved living standards, homelessness, mental illness and substance abuse are rife. One person can only do so much, but I want to make sure I do everything I can to help the less fortunate and to set an example others can follow.’
Following the guidance from Jessie’s parents and ancestors, in continuing her family’s long heritage of helping others, La Moneta Foundation offers a guiding light in a world full of uncertainty.