Day 2 Session Program - Thursday 22 April

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9:40 am


Jack Heath
CEO, Philanthropy Australia 

9:50 am

Purposeful, direct investment: respect, opportunity and gender equity

Women, safety and gender equality are at the centre of the national debate about our future. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women’s job and economic security, while recent events and discussions have exposed a myriad of systemic issues facing women, from safety in the workplace, to ongoing barriers to participation and equality.

Sam Mostyn has a unique insight into the current issues through her roles as Chair of ANROWS (the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety), President of Chief Executive Women and Chair of Australians Investing in Women. In this timely keynote address, Sam will share her thoughts on the current state of play for gender equality in Australia, and the critical role of philanthropy in driving respect, opportunity and equity for women.

Sam Mostyn AO
President, Chief Executive Women and Chair, Australians Investing in Women

10:10 am

Aboriginal advantage

The role of philanthropic bodies in assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups is a fraught topic. We will untangle some of the myths, based on fear and misunderstanding, and provide some guidelines for achieving better outcomes through understanding the needs of Indigenous groups that seek funding from philanthropic bodies. Have they been rejected by governments? Why? Have they refused to take government funds? Why? As a case study in an area of dire need, Aboriginal groups and corporations aiming to provide safety for women and children who are victims of violence, are too often under-funded and misunderstood. The recent national debate about safety for women and children give us some clues as to why Aboriginal women in particular are ignored in government programs aimed at reducing violence.  

With the claims about the very large federal government budget for Indigenous affairs and the very poor outcomes reported, especially in the Closing the Gap reports, it is necessary to look at where the funding goes, and why the outcomes are so poor. The progress towards greater Indigenous roles in determining policies and program funding, there is some hope for improvement. What should we be looking for? What should we demand? Great ideas come from Aboriginal organisations but they don’t have the personnel to dedicate to writing grant applications for small amounts of funding. It is hard work constantly selling need in the milieu of incorrect claims about large amounts of government funding and the very real advancement of a small proportion of the Aboriginal population. Some have closed the gap but the majority have not. How can philanthropists be discerning in this difficult environment? 


Professor Marcia Langton AM
Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies, University of Melbourne


Rowan Foley 
CEO, Aboriginal Carbon Foundation  

Janina Gawler
Consultant, RST Solutions  

Kyle Vander Kuyp  
Director, Killara Foundation  

Marilyn Morgan  
Director, Clontarf Foundation  

11:15 am

Morning tea & Partner Showcase 

11:35 am

International keynotes

These pre-recorded keynote addresses will focus on three topics, each of which are important to philanthropy both now and as it charts a course into the years and decades to come. These sessions will be followed by a live Q&A with each speaker.

KEYNOTE: Why philanthropy needs to pay what it takes

Philanthropy has often been reluctant to fund the full costs of the work of grantees. Whilst there has been positive progress, with more attention on the need for philanthropy to fund the operational costs of grantees, the limits that philanthropic organisations put on indirect cost recovery in project grants often leave grantees scrambling to meet their overhead costs.

Valerie Chang is Managing Director, Programs for the MacArthur Foundation, and is a passionate advocate of the ‘pay what it takes’ approach to philanthropy. Valerie has helped spearhead the initiative within the MacArthur Foundation to change its policy so that it pays an indirect cost recovery of 29 percent of project costs on all project grants, up from 15 percent. The MacArthur Foundation isn’t stopping there – it wants to hear whether this meets grantee needs. She also participates in a multi-funder collaborative of donors who are working to improve their practices in this area. Valerie will share her view about why a ‘pay what it takes’ approach is important, and provide important insights about how more Australian funders can shift their practice in this area. 

Valerie Chang
Managing Director, Programs, MacArthur Foundation (US)

KEYNOTE: The role of philanthropy in nation building: learning from the Canadian approach to community support for refugees

Australia prides itself on being a modern multicultural society that has embraced migrants and refugees across many generations. But recently, fault lines have been exposed that raise challenging issues about how we welcome new people to our shores: questions of national identity, models of economic support, risks to national security and, most profoundly, basic issues of equity and justice have emerged. 

Senator Ratna Omidvar represents Ontario in the Canadian Senate, and is an internationally recognised voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. In this keynote address, Senator Omidvar will share her thoughts on the role of philanthropy and compassion in nation building, the Canadian approach to community support for refugees and what we can learn from each other. 

The Honourable Ratna Omidvar
Independent Senator for Ontario, Senate of Canada

KEYNOTE: It’s time to decolonise philanthropy

Australia is undergoing a reckoning with its colonial origins and the fact that our nation and its wealth is built on the dispossession and oppression of Indigenous Australians. As a sector committed to the public good, it is vital to recognise and understand what this reckoning means for philanthropy in Australia and what changes are needed within the sector and its practices.

Edgar Villanueva is a philanthropic activist, Chair of Native Americans in Philanthropy and author of the book Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance. Edgar is one of the leaders of a movement to ‘decolonise philanthropy’ in the US and around the world, and in this keynote address he will share insights about what steps we need to take in Australia to make more tangible progress down this path.

Edgar Villanueva
Senior Vice President, Programs & Advocacy, Schott Foundation and Founder & Chief Strategist, Decolonizing Wealth Project (US)

12:30 pm

Live Q&A with international keynotes


Jo Taylor  
Chief Capability Officer, Paul Ramsay Foundation 


Valerie Chang
Managing Director, Programs, MacArthur Foundation (US)

The Honourable Ratna Omidvar
Independent Senator for Ontario, Senate of Canada

Edgar Villanueva
Senior Vice President, Programs & Advocacy, Schott Foundation and Founder & Chief Strategist, Decolonizing Wealth Project (US)

1:20 pm

Working Lunch

1:55 pm

Live entertainment 

Gondwana Choirs

2:05 pm

PANEL: You're the voice!

Philanthropy is the use of private wealth for public good, but it is not-for-profit organisations that turn philanthropy’s money into positive change.

Reflecting the importance of this partnership and the need for philanthropy to listen and learn from those ‘working on the ground’, this session provides an opportunity for four leaders from across the not-for-profit sector to share their perspectives on what they think the future needs from philanthropy.

The session promises to be an engaging and honest discussion, kicking off with each panellist being asked to share one thing philanthropy should keep doing and one thing philanthropy should stop doing.


Craig Connelly
CEO, The Ian Potter Foundation


Stella Avramopoulos
CEO, Good Shepherd Australia and NZ

Fiona Jose
CEO, Cape York Partnership

Kelly O'Shanassy
CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation

John Roskam
Executive Director, Institute of Public Affairs

2:45 pm

Afternoon tea & Partner Showcase

3:00 pm

PANEL: What does the future need from us, now?

As Day 2 of the conference comes to a close, this panel discussion will be an opportunity to reflect on the debates which we have had together over the previous two days.

Moderated by Professor Kristy Muir and featuring voices from philanthropy, the not-for-for-profit sector and academia, the discussion will explore insights which have stood out and issues which present challenges but also opportunities. It will also zero in on an important question – what concrete actions do we need to take so that philanthropy can deliver on what the future needs from us?


Prof. Kristy Muir
CEO, Centre for Social Impact


Danny Kennedy 
CEO, New Energy Nexus and Director, Confluence Philanthropy

Dr Emma Lee

Carol Schwartz AO 
2020 Leading Philanthropist

Rosie Thomas OAM
CEO of Innovation, PROJECT ROCKIT 

3:45 pm

Summary & Day 2 wrap

Please note that the program is subject to change

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