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Philanthropist Gemma Salteri: Let’s be open about giving

April 20th, 2016

Gemma Salteri, one of the next generation of Australian philanthropists, says there is a need for more transparency in the sector.

The eldest daughter of Paul Salteri — the founder of infrastructure company Tenix — who runs the family’s private ancillary fund known as the CAGES Foundation, says Australians are still too shy to talk about philanthropy.

A recent report involving the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Philanthropy Australia, and the US-based Foundation Centre, found there was a dearth of information about philanthropy in Australia that limited collaboration and co-ordination. The Foundation Centre has the most comprehensive ­database in the world on US and other global grantmakers.

“We are quite shy here and I think it is a huge problem for the sector. We need to push for greater transparency to maximise the impact we are going to have,” Ms Salteri said after last night receiving the Emerging Philanthropy Leader award from Philanthropy Australia.

“We are very reluctant to put our names behind things here. It is hard to share learnings across the sector and know what everyone is doing.”

Also at the ceremony, Audette Exel, founder and chair of the Adara Group, received the award of leading philanthropist.

“I don’t think you can be prescriptive about those (transparency) issues. I have a huge amount of respect for people that give humility to giving. I also have respect for people who are prepared to talk about it to inspire others,’’ Ms Exel said.

Adara last year launched Adara Partners to work pro bono on investment banking deals that will generate funds for people living in poverty across the world.

The Australian

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In conversation with Daniel Lee of the Levi Strauss Foundation

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.

Watch video