February 13th, 2015
Gonski's influence on the careers of business, arts and not-for-profit executives has been profound.
Louise Walsh believes one of Gonski's biggest legacies is the introduction of private ancillary funds, which have become one of the most popular forms of charitable trusts for high-wealth families and make up more than $2 billion in philanthropic giving.
Walsh says Gonski's lateral thinking and quirky sense of humour inspired her to launch a series of fundraisers with Gonski in conversation, firstly with Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton, then Kerry Stokes and, last year, Frank Lowy. "He's a fantastic interviewer because he's a great listener," Walsh says. "He does a lot of preparation and he talks to a lot of people who he thinks would have questions."
Last November, Frank Lowy revealed in conversation with Gonski that he and his family had been responsible for giving away $350 million over the past 10 years. It brought the house down. "There was no way Frank Lowy would have revealed that to anyone else and there's no way Stokes would have done the event if it weren't for Gonski," Walsh says.
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