Board Nomination Statements 2021

Kirsty Allen is a Program Manager with The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund. The Foundation and the Fund are multigenerational family foundations and are among the oldest and most respected philanthropic foundations in Australia. 

Kirsty is deeply experienced in philanthropic grant-making across an extensive range of grant-making programs, ranging from small grants, to large, multiyear commitments and collaborative initiatives. Her experience includes programmatic and general operating support grants and the development of grant-making themes and programs including capacity building and leadership programs, as well as application and selection processes. Collaborative philanthropy, including in support of advocacy and policy influence, is a particular area of interest and involvement. 

Since being elected to the PA board in 2017 Kirsty has served on the Finance, Audit, Risk & Compliance Committee. She has also participated on the Australian Philanthropy Awards assessment panel for two years. 

Kirsty came to the philanthropic sector following nearly ten years working in international develop with International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA). She has served the board of IWDA as staff representative, the board of Women’s Health West and the committees of the Ross House Association, Hyde Street Youth Band and Williamstown Little Athletics Centre.

March 2021

Michael spent most of his working life in the education sector, holding senior leadership roles in administration, curriculum development and risk management, before leaving the sector in 2010. He then worked at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission on a variety of projects addressing the development and understanding of equal opportunity issues throughout the State. He consulted to local and state government departments, the not-for-profit sector and private enterprise. It was in this job he truly started to appreciate the extent of disadvantage in Victoria. He realised addressing this disadvantage has to be a partnership between service providers, government at different levels, community and philanthropy.

In 2006, Michael’s family established a PAF to help sick and disadvantaged children, young people and their families.  The PAF started as many do, with the family coming to terms with what it meant to be philanthropic. In 2012, Michael became Chairman of the Barr Family Foundation (BFF) and has continued to grow the Foundation’s program of giving.  On a personal level, Michael recognised that philanthropy was more than just grant making from afar. He likes to build a relationship with grantees, challenging them to think ‘big’, be innovative or modify their projects so they can be more effective. 

Michael now spends his spare time working closely with potential grant recipients, mentoring young people in social enterprises and promoting the importance of philanthropy in civil society. At other times he plays golf, travels with his wife and spends time on the Mornington Peninsula.

In 2016, the Barr Family Foundation won the Gender-wise Philanthropy Award for their support of the Mcauley House pioneering Court Support 4 Kids program. Michael has been a participant in Philanthropy Australia’s Study Tour of the UK in 2017 and the Study Tour of Canada’s leading philanthropic institutions in 2019.

Michael has been a member of the Philanthropy Australia board since 2019 and is seeking a further term to continue contributing to the wider philanthropic community. His work and thoughts on philanthropy are closely aligned with PA’s Vision and Purpose.

March 2021

I am a member of Philanthropy Australia as the CEO of Ganbina, and am nominating as a 'Not for Profit' member, to be considered for the vacant position of board director with Philanthropy Australia.

I am an Aboriginal man, a descendant of the Taungurung mob from north eastern Victoria. I believe I can bring aspects of my living in a regional community, and Aboriginal cultural, knowledge and experience to the board.

I joined Ganbina in 2013 as the Chief Executive Officer, a position I currently hold. My education includes, a Diploma of Business, with additional experience and qualifications in Quality Management, Risk Management, Workplace Safety and Environmental Management. My community service career spans some 30 years, in the private and government sectors.

I am also an alumnus of the Melbourne Business School, having graduated from the MURRA business program in 2014, and also an alumnus of the Williamson Leadership Program graduating in 2015, and also studied at Stanford University in the US.

I have previously served on various Boards/ Committees including as Chair of Mitchell Indigenous Education Group, and a member of the Mitchell Community Health Service, and past President, Captain of the Broadford Golf club and recently was a member of the ANZ - Indigenous Advisory Council.

I have expertise in the following areas that I feel aligns with Philanthropy Australia's skills matrix for Board members.

Philanthropy, as the CEO of Ganbina I have established many relationships with Philanthropists from around Australia, in the USA and United Kingdom.

Strategic Planning, knowledge and hands on practical experience of the strategic goals and principles.

Corporate and Community Foundations; as a funding partner, and recipient of funding.

I am very passionate about serving on your board as a director. I believe I have a wide variety of skills, including a strong background in both governance, and philanthropic partnerships, with a strong desire to promote more and better philanthropy.

March 2021

In 2006 I co-founded the W & A Johnson Family Foundation (PAF) to provide a structure and focus for our family giving.  I am an active member, participating in a number of Philanthropy Australia affinity group meetings, seminars and workshops. I am as passionate about the philanthropic sector in Australia generally as I am about my family’s own giving. 

As a Board member, I am committed through our own PAF to PA’s new direction.  I joined Board in 2012 and have served as Vice-President since 2015 and am a member of the Governance and Nominations sub-committee.  In my 11 years of membership, I have watched Philanthropy Australia grow and better understand the enormously varied needs of its members.  I have expressed opinion - and frustration at times - over issues that I felt PA was not addressing properly but am extremely pleased and proud of the progress made.  I am committed to the current strategic plan and approach and very keen to see it delivered successfully.

There are enormous challenges but I now see an organisation that can spearhead philanthropic growth in this country, can represent all grantmakers -  as different as they are -  can assist grantseekers and can communicate effectively with all its stakeholders, including government and the general public.  I want to be a member of Council, to be part of the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the future planning.  I would like to see philanthropy become part of the general discourse of life in Australia.

I am Chair of the Sydney Theatre Company Foundation and Deputy Chair of the Sydney Theatre Company.   I graduated from Arts/ Law (UNSW) in 1985 and worked as a solicitor briefly in Sydney then Tokyo.  I am also a graduate of AICD.  As a volunteer I have worked for periods at the Arts Law Centre in Sydney and Lou’s Place in Sydney.  I am based in NSW and am a full member of PA through our family PAF.

March 2021

I am very much interested in bringing my experience to assist Philanthropy Australia to further develop its policies and programs to enhance the scale and effectiveness of the sector. As Chairman of PA's Policy & Research Committee, I have been particularly interested in promoting the role of philanthropy in society, the need for active advocacy on social and environmental issues, and the development of innovative and effective social entrepreneurship.

My experience includes governance of not-for-profit organisations since 1971, being a Non-Executive Director of some twenty such organisations including chairing statutory public corporations such as the Sydney Opera House Trust, and SBS.

Currently I am on the global board of Human Rights Watch and The Conversation Media Group, and the Australian board of The Observership program.

I have had at the same time a business career in funds management and private investment, with Board experience in Australia, Asia and the United States.

Over the last 20 years, I have had an increasing involvement with the sector through philanthropic giving which has grown from individual giving into a more formalised structure through our family Sky Foundation PAF.

As Chairman of the Sky Foundation, I have been involved in its program both on the "business investment side" which has included social impact bonds, as well as the social investment side which ranges across arts, medical research, indigenous, international aid, human rights (especially women's rights), and the performing arts sectors.

March 2021

Environmental Philanthropy Award 2020 recipients

Funders: The Pace Foundation, with The NR Peace & Justice Fund, Lenko Family Foundation, Melliodora Fund, (a sub-fund of the Australian Communities Foundation), Sarah Brenan, (Hamer Family Fund), The Mullum Trust, Vicki Olsson.

For-purpose: Beyond Zero Foundation

Award partner: Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network


Best Grant Program Award 2020 recipient

Recipient: Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal –Tackling Tough Times Together program