Day 2 Session Program - Thursday 22 April

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10:00 am



10:10 am

Aboriginal advantage


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

11:15 am

Morning Tea

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)

1:10 pm


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'Shannasy
CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation

John Roskam
Executive Director, Institute of Public Affairs 

2:45 pm

Afternoon tea

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


Prof. Megan Davis
Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous UNSW & Professor of Law, UNSW Law

Paul Gilding
Independent Writer & Advisor on Sustainability 

Carol Schwartz AO 
2020 Leading Philanthropist

Rosie Thomas OAM
CEO of Innovation, PROJECT ROCKIT 

3:35 pm

Summary & Day 2 wrap


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

Access here

Community Philanthropy Award 2020 recipients

Funders: Give Where You Live Foundation and Geelong Community Foundation

For-purpose: Kids Thrive

Award partners: Australian Communities Foundation, Australian Community Philanthropy, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal & Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation.