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Gillian Walnes PerryFounder of the Anne Frank Trust UK
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In 1990, along with family and friends of Anne Frank’s father Otto Frank, Gillian Walnes Perry set up the Anne Frank Trust UK as a partner organisation of the world-famous Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. The Trust is a not for profit educational charity which uses Anne Frank’s powerful and tragic story to help young people understand and challenge prejudice and hatred, and embrace positive attitudes, responsibility and respect for others.
Gillian Walnes Perry retired from running the charity in 2016 and now lectures on the life and surprising legacy of Anne Frank’, a topic she is uniquely placed to speak on.
For nearly 30 years, Gillian travelled extensively around the UK and Ireland, setting up innovative educational projects. She opened Anne Frank exhibitions in places as far reaching as Hong Kong, Argentina, South Africa and Brazil.
She has met Presidents, Prime Ministers, British and Dutch royalty and people who actually knew Anne and have shared their first hand recollections.
She attended the 1996 Academy Awards in Hollywood (with Miep Gies, the courageous woman who helped the Frank family in hiding), and enlisted some very distinguished patrons to her charity such as the late Audrey Hepburn, Vidal Sassoon and Steven Spielberg.
Gillian Walnes Perry is a highly experienced speaker, having spoken at the United Nations in front of the Secretary General Kofi Annan and at 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. While on a visit to the US in 2016 she was invited to the White House to advise the former First Lady Michelle Obama’s policy team.
In 2010 Gillian was honoured for her work by Her Majesty The Queen and was inducted as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. She has also been the recipient of several humanitarian awards, and was cited as one of Britain’s Inspirational Women by a national magazine.
She has written extensively for newspapers about the impact of Anne Frank on young people, and has done innumerable TV and radio interviews and taken part in televised documentaries, both in the UK and US.
In 2018, Gillian’s first book ‘The Legacy of Anne Frank’ was published in the UK and US. It relates the impact of learning about Anne Frank, and its reconciliatory power, in some of the world’s most turbulent and violent regions over the past three decades. It has received critical acclaim and 5-star reviews on Amazon.