Day 1: Wednesday 5 September 


This year’s conference program will be a dynamic mix of pre-conference masterclasses, keynote presentations, panels, in-conversation sessions, smaller concurrent working sessions and networking drinks across the two days.

Delegate Drinks

Catch up with friends and sector colleagues at this exclusive networking opportunity for delegates. We invite you to wind down after a full day of learning and inspiration and enjoy some drinks and canapes and with your peers.







Sarah Davies
CEO, Philanthropy Australia


Welcome to Country




Principal Partner


Purpose: Is It Enough?

As the President of one of the leading philanthropic foundations in the United States, Larry Kramer has unique insights about the vital role philanthropy plays in our community. Setting the tone for the conference, Larry will make the case for why philanthropy must be fearless – it’s not enough to just want to do good, because that alone won’t be enough to address the global challenges that confront us.Larry will emphasise philanthropy’s role as change agent, presenting two case studies from the Hewlett Foundation’s work:

  1. Addressing political polarisation in the US; and
  2. Focusing on the problem of trustworthy cyber systems.

Larry Kramer
President, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (USA)  


David Gonski and Arun Abey in conversation: How Much is Enough?

David Gonski and Arun Abey need no introduction the philanthropic sector. In this intimate discussion,they will explore and expose their deeper sense of meaning and purpose, beyond their well-known business faces and the transformative effect that philanthropy has had on their lives.  In conversation with Arun, David will share his journey from childhood, his love for his father, the challenge in following a career path against his father’s values, and how these experiences and other family factors led him into philanthropy; how his values have led him to support specific causes and above all, how a driven, ambitious, successful, powerful person answers the questions of ‘Why’ and ‘How Much’ is ‘Enough’? 

David Gonski AC

Chairman of the Australia and New Zealand

Banking Group Ltd.

Arun Abey
Chairman and co-founder Walsh Bay Partners

and Chairman, Advisory Board,

ANU College of Business and Economics

11.15am Morning Tea


Purpose and the Crisis of Trust

Trust is a vital ingredient that ties the fabric of our community together. It is essential for supporting socia lcohesion and building consensus around how we respond to social, environmental and economic challenges.

But in Australia and around the world, people are becoming increasingly distrustful of government, business, the media and the not-for-profit sector. What are the implications of this for philanthropy and social change agents more broadly?


Lenore Taylor
Editor, The Guardian


Steve Spurr
CEO, Edelman Australia

Lisa George
Global Head, Macquarie Group Foundation

The Hon Jeffrey Kennett AC
Chairman, Equity Trustees

Joy Anderson
Founder and president of Criterion Institute


The State of the Sector

Philanthropy and the broader not-for-profit sector has been going through an exciting period of change in recent years. John McLeod is one of Australia’s leading interpreters of what the data is telling us about the current shape and profile of the sector. In this session, he will present his most recent research findings.

Following John’s presentation, there will be three responses providing a business and impact investing perspective, a not-for-profi perspective and a philanthropic perspective. The discussion will help us not only understand where we are right now, but what this means for where we’re going.


Prof. Kristy Muir
CEO, Centre for Social Impact,

The University of New South Wales


John McLeod
Senior Consultant, JBWere Philanthropic Services and Council Member, Philanthropy Australia

Amanda Miller
Founder, Impact Generation Partners and

Council Member, Philanthropy Australia

David Crosbie
CEO, Community Council for Australia

Catherine Brown
CEO, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation

1.30pm Lunch
Breakout Sessions 


Is the impact investing market distracting philanthropy from achieving its purpose?

"Splash in the Shallows..." (experiential grant making)
Sustainable Development Goals
The role of risk in achieving impact

Case study: Using strategic partnership to embed systemic change at global scale

3.50pm Afternoon tea
Breakout Sessions


Gender and equality… Democracy in action
Every cent in the dollar goes to the beneficiaries

Case study: Reframing failure: lessons from the field

On maximising impact – measurement and evaluation

Fundamental to our purpose: Australian philanthropy’s role and potential in advocacy


Delegate drinks







Policy Matters

Check out Philanthropy Australia's policy and advocacy news hub, which provides up to date and useful information for our Members on policy developments relevant to their activities.

Check out Policy Matters