Day 1 Sessions Program - Wednesday 21 April

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10:00 am

Acknowledgement of Country and Introduction

Jack Heath  
CEO, Philanthropy Australia 

Nolan Hunter 
Head of Engagement, Uluru Dialogue  

Ann Johnson 
Co-Chair, Philanthropy Australia 

Jeni Whalan  
Chief Program Officer, Paul Ramsay Foundation 

10:35 am

What does the future look like?

The opening keynote address from George Megalogenis, one of Australia’s leading thinkers and author of The Australian Moment and Australia’s Second Chance, will set the scene for the conference, promising to open our minds and stimulate our thinking, as we look towards the future of Australia and Australian philanthropy.

As we approach the quarter-way mark of the 21st century, George will explore important questions about where we are headed as a nation. What shifts can we expect to see and what impacts will they have on our society? Are we ready to embrace the positive ones, and are we doing enough to address to the negative ones?

By exploring these questions, we can better understand what the future needs of philanthropy, and whether as a sector we are ready to deliver.

George Megalogenis
Author & Journalist 

11:00 am

Global perspectives: What does the future look like?

Following the keynote address from George Megalogenis, this session will involve four 15-minute keynote addresses by philanthropic sector leaders from Australia, Asia and the United States.

Each will share their perspective about what the future needs from philanthropy. Is philanthropy ready to deliver on what the future needs from us? What are we doing right and what needs to change? They will conclude by each identifying one challenge for the philanthropy and one opportunity.

Phil Buchanan
President, Center for Effective Philanthropy (US)

Naina Subberwal Batra
CEO & Chairperson, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (Singapore)

Caitriona Fay
Managing Partner, Community and Social Investment, Perpetual Private

Nicholas Moore
Chair, The Smith Family
Former CEO, Macquarie Group

12:00 pm

Morning Tea & Partner Showcase

12:20 pm

PANEL: What does the future need from us?

Following their keynote addresses, this session will dig deeper into the themes and issues raised by each speaker as well as the big picture context outlined by George Megalogenis.

Moderated by the 2019 ACT Australian of the Year, Virginia Haussegger AM, the discussion promises to be frank, engaging and with practical relevance for philanthropy of all shapes and sizes as well as the broader not-for-profit sector.


Virginia Haussegger AM
Journalist and adjunct professor, Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra


Phil Buchanan
President, Center for Effective Philanthropy (US)

Naina Subberwal Batra
CEO & Chairperson, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (Singapore)

Caitriona Fay
Managing Partner, Community and Social Investment, Perpetual Private

Nicholas Moore
Chair, The Smith Family
Former CEO, Macquarie Group

1:00 pm

RESPONSE: What do we need for the future?

To conclude the morning, this response from a young Australian leader will challenge philanthropy to step up and ensure it’s ready to meet the needs of communities across Australia, so it can be an effective partner for creating positive change.

Tom Webster Arbizu
Youth climate leader and advocate

1:30 pm

Lunchtime networking

2:30 pm

PANEL: Building back better

The COVID-19 pandemic shook the roots of Australian society, and the global community. In doing so, it has exposed many of the underlying challenges and fault lines in our social and economic model. Some groups in our society have been hit harder than others, and the crisis has highlighted the problems of precarious employment and gender inequality, with the temporary increase in the rate of JobSeeker/Newstart being a stark recognition that our social safety net in Australia is inadequate.

As we emerge from the crisis, we have a choice as a society. We can return to the social and economic model we had before, or we can actively seek to reshape it so that we ‘build back better’. If we take the second option – what changes do we need to see in Australian society, and importantly, how do we make ideas become reality? What role do different sectors need to play and can we rely on government to deliver all the changes we need to see?

This panel of Australian leaders and thinkers from different sectors will address these questions, helping to shape the way forward for Australia.


David Crosbie
CEO, Community Council for Australia


Natalie Egleton
CEO, Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal

Rachel Nolan
Former Queensland Minister for Finance, Transport, Natural Resources and the Arts

Dean Parkin
Director, From the Heart

John Wylie AM
Founder and Chair, Tanarra Philanthropic Advisors

3:10 pm

Afternoon tea and Partner Showcase

3:30 pm

Live entertainment

Join Gunai woman, Kirli Saunders, an award-winning writer and artist as she reflects on the need for creativity now and in the future. 

Kirli Saunders 
Writer | Artist | Educator  

3:40 pm

PRESENTATION: Blueprint for Philanthropy

2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the introduction of private ancillary funds in Australia. An important policy reform, together with other initiatives they have helped philanthropy grow and flourish in Australia. As we look towards the next 20 years, what changes in policy and practice do we need if we are to see philanthropy truly make the impact that the future needs from it?

In this session, Sam Meers will facilitate a conversation between former Prime Minister John Howard and David Gonski AC, two of the key players behind the introduction of private ancillary funds in Australia, as they look back on 20 years in Australian philanthropy and forward to the future.

Following this, Philanthropy Australia CEO Jack Heath will present Philanthropy Australia’s Blueprint to Grow Giving, which provides a 10 year strategy to double giving by 2030. Based on extensive stakeholder engagement and consultation, the Blueprint provides a roadmap for enhancing Australia’s culture of philanthropy and capitalising on the $2.6 trillion intergenerational wealth transfer expected to happen over the next few decades.


Sam Meers AO
Co-founder and Trustee, the Nelson Meers Foundation


David Gonski AC

Hon John Howard OM AC
25th Prime Minister of Australia


Jack Heath
CEO, Philanthropy Australia

4:30 pm

Summary & Day 1 wrap

4:45 - 5:15 pm

Online Delegate Drinks (BYO drink)

Please note that the program is subject to change

Philanthropy and COVID-19

Philanthropy and COVID-19

The latest information and resources on COVID-19

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