Day 3 Workshops Program - 5 May

Member Registration  General Admission Registration

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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 women 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  

In Australia as elsewhere, governments, first-responder NGOs, and national charities are increasingly looking to place-based, grassroots community organisations as partners ‘on the ground’ when responding to natural disasters and other emergencies.

Community foundations are among the charities best placed to play that role of local intermediary to connect people in need with help available from national agencies that have disaster management know-how and resources, but lack local knowledge and connections.

Community foundations are (by definition) embedded in their local community. Through deep local knowledge and relationships, they are best at identifying the needs in the community, finding locally relevant solutions, and helping implement support – quickly getting money and other assistance to where it is needed most.

While community foundations have the strongest base of social capital to ensure effective help in disaster situations for regional communities, they are among the least visible and most under-resourced participants in the disaster relief ecosystem.

This session will provide a high-level overview from community foundation peak body Australian Community Philanthropy and FRRR of the issues and challenges, complemented by case studies from two community foundations:

  • The Marysville and Triangle Community Foundation was established with a seed grant from the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund after the 2009 Black Saturday fires. The Foundation is now evolving from a ‘bushfire foundation’ into an ‘anchor institution’ for its local community, providing community leadership and a focus for local giving and engagement in community development into the future.
  • The Northern Rivers Community Foundation covers more than 20,000 km2 encompassing seven local government areas with a combined population of about 300,000 (ABS 2016), the largest footprint of any community foundation in Australia. Communities within NRCF’s catchment have over the past two years experienced drought, the Black Summer fires, flooding, the COVID-19 shutdown and its devastating impact on the region’s tourism and primary industries, and the recent catastrophic flood. The Foundation has set up a Resilience and Regeneration Fund to respond to those events.


Gerlinde Scholz
Executive Officer, Australian Community Philanthropy   


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 

12:00 – 12:50 pm

Blueprint to Grow Philanthropy workshop

In April, Philanthropy Australia launched a Blueprint to Grow Structured Giving in Australia – based on extensive research, consultation and engagement, it sets out a roadmap outlining where the opportunities for growth in philanthropy are, with the objective of doubling giving by 2030.

In this workshop, Philanthropy Australia CEO Jack Heath and Acting Policy and Research Director Krystian Seibert will provide a deep dive into the Blueprint and the next stages of its development and implementation.

Growing structured giving in Australia is a collaborative effort, and this workshop is an opportunity for learn more about the opportunities and initiatives outlined in the report and participate in an open discussion about how interested stakeholders can work together to take giving in Australia to the next level.


Jack Heath
CEO, Philanthropy Australia

Krystian Seibert
Policy Adviser, Philanthropy Australia

John McLeod 
Philanthropic Services Consultant, JBWere Ltd 

Jo Taylor  
Chief Capability Officer, Paul Ramsay Foundation

Preparing for the future: the importance of succession planning in philanthropy

Navigating the many nuances of private philanthropy can be challenging. There are many different approaches and ways of thinking and there’s no one size fits all. Moderated by Perpetual’s Jane Magor, this workshop brings together a panel of foundation philanthropists to share ideas and learnings informed by their own practice. This candid discussion will touch on key areas including vision alignment and purpose, engaging multiple generations in philanthropy, the importance of succession planning and more.

This workshop is designed for anyone thinking about their current and future engagement in philanthropy.


Jane Magor
National Manager – Philanthropy and Non Profit Services, Perpetual


Rosy Sullivan
Trustee, Mary Alice Foundation

Gudrun Willcocks
Administrator of the ATS Charitable Foundation and New Gen Philanthropist

Peter Whitehead
Associate Partner Perpetual


12:50 - 1:50 pm


2:00 - 2:50 pm

Where gender and race intersect with poverty

By examining effective approaches to strengthening economic independence for women locally and globally, the Workshop will reflect on recent awardees in International and Gender-wise Philanthropy.  The panel will discuss relevant themes arising for philanthropy in this context such as: 

  • The importance of managing and balancing power with agency 
  • What it takes to build trust and transparency to effectively bridge cultural and geographic divides 
  • How to work with extremely marginalized or even traumatized communities to build up a program with impact and scale potential?


Simon Lewis
Partner, GoodWolf 


Rachel English
Foundation Manager, Mutual Trust 

Julie Long
Corporate Citizen Lead, Accenture Australia and New Zealand 

Julie Reilly
CEO, Australians Investing In Women 

Julie Rosenberg
Executive Officer, AIDN

Philanthropy and Government: Is it a love story or an uneasy alliance?

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  


Teya Dusseldorp 
Executive Director, Dusseldorp Forum

Frances Martin 
Director - Place Based Reform & Delivery · ‎Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions 

June McLoughlin 
Executive Director, Services, Colman Education Foundation | Our Place 

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?


Krystian Seibert
Policy Advisor, Philanthropy Australia


Megan Weier
Research Fellow, Centre for Social Impact UNSW 

Katherine McKernan 
CEO, Homelessness NSW 

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.


Deanne Weir
Weir Anderson Foundation and Chair, Mannifera  


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 

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