February 28th, 2017
Philanthropy Australia was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Betty Amsden AO. She was one of Australia's biggest advocates for philanthropy and a true pioneer.
In addition to being a generous philanthropist with her support of the arts, Betty also worked tirelessly to change attitudes about philanthropy and giving, through her example and her inspiration to others to give. Whether mentoring young and aspiring philanthropists, or sharing her story of how the spirit of giving can grow from a simple gesture of sharing her pennies as a child with a friend less fortunate. Betty was known for saying ‘if you have two pennies, give one of them away’. She was a philanthropist to her core.
Betty was known for her work helping to improve the lives of many, whether through the provision of education scholarships to disadvantage students, to making the arts world more accessible to the broader community, providing key leadership to the Guide Dogs, and to giving advice and financial support to a giving circle whose focus is women & families in need.
Even into her 90s, Betty embraced life and continued to challenge, question and guide those around her, encouraging us all to embrace the ethos of delivering more and better philanthropy. She has left more than a lasting legacy – we will miss her spirit, generosity and leadership and are grateful for and celebrate her spirit and life.
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In conversation with Nicole Richards at the Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit, Daniel Lee shared his insights on topics including the role of philanthropy as a driver of systems change which addresses root causes of social challenges, the relationship between philanthropy and government and what the new political environment in the United States means for philanthropy.