Day 3 Workshops Program - 5 May

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Please note: the full schedule, including times and dates, will be fully updated soon.



9:45 am


10:00 - 10:50 am 

New power: donor organising and activism  

Last conference, New Power author Jeremy Heimans inspired us to critically analyse old power philanthropy and to adopt the emergent, new power approaches that see philanthropy and civil society organising as active collaborators for sustained, large-scale change.  

Since then, the need for significant reimagining and restructuring to tackle the interconnected issues of climate change, economic and social inequalities, health and First Nations justice has been amplified.  

To be a key actor in this change, we need to embrace new power ways of doing philanthropy.  Funders must work more effectively with one another and with the rest of civil society, bringing all of the sector’s power and resources to bear and recasting ourselves from ‘funders’ to ‘organisers’. 

A panel committed to new power philanthropy will share experiences and learnings in shifting to a practice that is future thinking, striving for structural change and truly collaborative – as an equal partner with civil society. 


Harriet McCallum
Executive Officer, Mannifera 


Solome Lemma
Executive Director, Thousand Currents (US) 

Georgia Mathews
Philanthropy and Engagement Manager, Australian Communities Foundation  

Deanne Weir
Weir Anderson Foundation and Chair, Mannifera 

From crisis to opportunity: how philanthropy can drive system change in the age of disruption  

With bushfires raging over Australia’s summer to the rapid global spread of the COVID 19, crisis has become the new normal. Moments of societal upheaval can also be moments of rapid transformation, bringing about systems change at a faster pace and scale. 

Using two case studies, this session will discuss how communities and organisations are turning crisis into opportunity to drive systems change.  It will also highlight what direction philanthropy should take in this time of crisis and share evidence of how a systems lens can drive change on the ground.  

This session will challenge thinking on how we can do things differently, putting woman and communities at the centre of change efforts and building powerful coalitions for change. Delegates will gain practical insights and they will also interact with Pacific women who are challenging a narrative of being the most vulnerable to one that maximises their agency and collective power.  


Michelle Higelin
Executive Director, ActionAid 


Sharon Bhagwan Rolls
Global Fund For Women Board Co-chair & Shifting The Power Coalition Technical Adviser (Fiji)

Tracey Spicer AM
Author, journalist, broadcaster 

Kristina Stefanova
Co-founder, Bundaleer Sustainable Investments 

11:00 - 11:50 am

On the Right side of History: Unpacking the journey towards 100% Responsible Investing 

As holders of significant capital, Foundations play a unique role in the social ecosystem.  Globally, Trusts and Foundations are being held to account for how they invest their capital.  

Making a commitment to have 100% of the corpus responsibly invested seems like a daunting and impossible dream for majority of funders.    

In this session you will hear different funders speak candidly about their Foundation’s ambition to be 100% responsibly invested, why they set that target and how they got there. This involves thinking holistically about capital and its potential to achieve change, creating a future focused vision, aligning the different arms of the foundation, managing stakeholders, finding the right partners, pushing the boundaries and being prepared to make some tough calls.    

This session looks specifically at the leadership role Trusts and Foundations can play as responsible investors, but more importantly it offers a candid perspective on ‘what to do and how to get there’. 


Amanda Miller
Co-founder, Impact Generation Partners 


Adam Milgrom
Besen Family Foundation 

Maree Sidey
CEO, Australian Communities Foundation 

Leonard Vary
CEO, The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund 

Place-based, community-led and long-term: community foundations and regional emergency response  

Natural disasters and other emergencies are a focal point for community philanthropy. A good number of Australian community foundations have been established in response to disaster. What makes the community foundation model so well suited to disaster response and recovery? (Hint: it's not just about the money…) And how can our disaster response frameworks connect more effectively with community foundations to make sure recovery efforts meet local needs and achieve the lasting benefits that are intended?   

In this session, practitioners from some of the seven community foundations that were at the frontline of the 2019/20 bush fires, and others who are in their 11th year of recovery from the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday fires, will reflect on their experiences.   

People who were there will share their stories in this session to help us understand what we can learn about community leadership, unlocking community assets and the need for partnering in an emergency. And what do all of us – government, philanthropy, NFP sector and communities on the ground - need to put in place to build more robust, resilient networks of support for a future in which disasters are likely to be more frequent and more fierce.  




Natalie Egleton
CEO, Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal 

Robyn Hill
Executive Officer, Marysville and Triangle Community Foundation 

Johan Kortenhorst
Board member, Northern Rivers Community Foundation 

Gerlinde Scholz
Executive Officer, Australian Community Philanthropy 

12:00 – 12:50 pm

A different way to use philanthropy to generate social impact: philanthropic guarantees and lessons from the Journey to Social Inclusion case study 

For almost a decade, Sacred Heart Mission’s Journey to Social Inclusion Program (J2SI) has supported people to break the cycle of homelessness. The program works on the premise that self-sustained, long-term housing provides a solid foundation to improve people’s lives.  

Using the J2SI case study, this session will explore opportunities, challenges and future considerations for philanthropic guarantees in the context of the Australian social impact investment market.  It will focus on innovative and evidence-based solutions as well as lessons learned and opportunities presented by this mechanism, providing insights for future transactions of this nature.  

This session is relevant to trustees, grant makers and investment managers who seek increased understanding of philanthropic guarantees (contingent grants) as an effective mechanism to extend social impact capital, that:  

brings together government funding through impact bond-type structures, social impact investment and grants; and addresses the issue of scale and impact, including lowering the cost of funding.  


Libby Ward-Christie
Centre for Social Impact (CSI) Swinburne 


Lucy Doyle
NAB Foundation and Strategic Giving Manager, Social Impact 

Suzanne Findlay
Manager Social Impact, Growth & Governance, Sacred Heart Mission  

Ferdi Hepworth
Grant Program Manager, William Buckland Foundation (EQT Trustees) 

'Splash in the shallows...' an introduction to grantmaking

This session will provide an introduction to grantmaking through an authentic and open exploration and discussion of how and where to start. Speakers will share personal experiences, ideas, insights and suggestions aimed at cutting through the noise to make sense of jargon, models, frameworks and more! 

Speakers TBC


12:50 - 1:50 pm


2:00 - 2:50 pm

International and Gender Awards case study session

Session overview TBC


Simon Lewis
Partner, GoodWolf 


Julie Long
Corporate Citizen Lead, Accenture Australia and New Zealand 

Philanthropy and Government working together 

Wicked policy problems such as entrenched intergenerational disadvantage are huge challenges for governments. When systems, which are designed to be stable, are not delivering optimum outcomes, it takes disruption from the outside to catalyse positive change.    

Philanthropy can be the disrupter, the risk taker, the venture capital for social change – but this is only effective if it is backed in by government policy that maintains that change.   

Two Foundations, Mornington Peninsula Foundation and Colman Foundation, have taken on this challenge.  While there has been a lot of rhetoric about government partnering with philanthropy, there are few models working at scale or demonstrating sustainable co-operation.    

This session explores how two foundations are going about it.  


Stephanie Exton 
Executive Director, Mornington Peninsula Foundation  


David Clement 
Victorian Government  

Teya Dusseldorp 
Executive Director, Dusseldorp Forum

June McLoughlin 
Executive Director, Our Place/Coleman Foundation 

3:00 - 3:50 pm

Purposefully measuring and improving Australia’s social progress  

This session will springboard off the recently released and widely publicized Australian Social Progress Index, developed by the Centre for Social Impact and the Social Progress Imperative. The SPI provides a quantitative measure of Australia’s progress that is based purely on economic and environmental indicators, rather than relying only solely on economic indicators such as GDP. 

The calculation and release of the Index presents some fundamental questions and challenges both in how ‘progress’ is quantified, and what the philanthropy sector does with the findings once the Index is released. This session therefore aims to delve into these questions through a series of presentations, specifically: 

How do we measure social progress? What are the most urgent data gaps? 

What are the ethical implications of what data is (and isn’t) collected in our understanding of social progress? What role should philanthropy play in this debate? 

How do we find ways of talking about social progress that centre issues of Indigenous sovereignty and justice – who collects and ‘owns’ data, and the way that data is used 

What opportunities does the SPI offer for philanthropy and social impact investment? Who decides what these priorities are?

Speakers TBC

Litigating for Change: The New Frontier for Australian Philanthropy 

Future generations depend on us holding those in power accountable now. But, how do we hold decision makers and those in power accountable when the existing methods in our toolbox are no longer yielding the outcomes they have in the past?  

Strategic litigation is an advocacy tool with a hard edge that creates enormous impact. It has the power to hold decision-makers accountable in court by invalidating bad laws and policies and developing legal protection of vulnerable communities and groups. 

Just as crucial are the campaigns run alongside litigation, outside the courts. They can leverage the legal process to mobilise communities for broader social change as well as leveraging losses and protecting wins in court from Governments legislating around them. 

In this session you’ll hear form Grata Fund and some of its Australian and global partners who are working to build Australian civil society’s capacity for strategic litigation.




Elaine Johnson
Director, Systemic Change Program, Environmental Defenders Office 

Tessa Khan
Director, Uplift (UK)

Isabelle Reinecke
Founder and Executive Director, Grata Fund 

Jennifer Robinson
Australian human rights lawyer and barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London (UK)

Karly Warner
CEO, Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Limited 

Deanne Weir
Weir Anderson Foundation and Chair, Mannifera  

Foundation Maps: Australia

Do you want to know who is funding what and where across Australia?

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