February 21st, 2016
They're some of Australia’s most generous givers, but you wouldn’t recognise many of them in the street. Australia’s biggest philanthropists include some big names of business but also several private types who shun the limelight.
They are collectively donating hundreds of millions of dollars each year to causes such as hospitals, medical research, education and the arts — so who are they?
Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest and James Packer are among the well-known names, but others such as Greg Poche and Alex Waislitz also have been handing over millions.
Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies said there had been a big rise in big gifts in recent years and more philanthropists were willing to talk openly about their giving.
“By talking about their giving, philanthropists are creating culture change because they encourage their colleagues to think about their own wealth and how they could use it for the common good,” she said.
Ms Davies said a large research project, Giving Australia 2015, had been commissioned by the Federal Government to give greater insights about why people give and how much they give. It is expected to be completed later this year.
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.
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