Philanthropy Australia CEO Jack Heath awarded an AM

Fri, 2 Feb 2024 Estimated reading times: 3 minutes

Jack Heath says he’s humbled to be among those to receive an Australia Day Honours this year. Altogether 1,042 people were recognised, with more women than men being included. Amanda Miller OAM and Lisa George, Co-Chairs of Philanthropy Australia, congratulated Jack on behalf of the board and staff. They said the thoroughly deserved honour recognises Jack’s outstanding leadership in building and stewarding for-purpose organisations and his dedicated career of service to Australia over many decades.

Jack received the Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to community health and to social welfare. Prior to his CEO post at Philanthropy Australia, Jack served as CEO at SANE Australia for more than eight years and before that led the establishment of the ReachOut youth mental health organisations in Australia, Ireland and the US.

Jack has sat on a number of advisory boards and committees and other received awards for his contributions in mental health, including a Centenary Medal. When the AM was announced on 26 January, Jack said: “On this bittersweet day, I acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands where I have lived, worked and played for more than 60,000 years. I pay my respects to First Nations elders and leaders past and present and acknowledge their ongoing connection and custodianship of these lands we call Australia. 

“Thank you to whomever nominated me for a gong. Thank you to all the amazing colleagues over the years both mad and sane. Thank you to the many generous supporters and benefactors who have backed the organisations I have had the privilege to lead for almost three decades. 

“Thank you to my sweet, sweet family for your enduring love, support and sacrifice. Thank you to my precious teachers and gurus for the safety you have given me and the inspiration to make the most of this precious human life.”

There were a significant number of other recipients of awards across the philanthropic and not-for-profit sector. Mark Cubit received an AM to recognise his significant service to community through charitable organisations.

Mark has been active in international philanthropy for two decades. On the doing side he is Chair of The School of St Jude in Tanzania and on the giving side he is co-founder of Cubit Family Foundation. He promotes, facilitates and advises on international giving as one of the co-founders of both Partners for Equity and Australian International Development Network, a chapter group of Philanthropy Australia. He also has had a long involvement with Monash University.

Mark is passionate about the results he sees from offshore giving and in May is leading an AIDN Insight Tour of funders to Africa to share that impact with others. Mark said: “I’m surprised and honoured to receive the recognition, but I’m putting it down to the amazing colleagues I work with and the results on the ground from the dozens of social entrepreneurs with whom I interact on a daily basis.”

Also awarded an AM was Susanne Dahn, an investment advisor and philanthropy expert at Pitcher Partners in Melbourne. She is also an adviser to the MJD Foundation. Elizabeth Perron, from Western Australia, was recognised with an AM for her enormous contribution in stewarding and leading the Perron Charitable Foundation, which was established by her late father, Stan. The Perron Charitable Foundation is a longtime member of Philanthropy Australia and is a financial supporter of our work in WA. The Perron Charitable Foundation’s significant contributions have been directed at health and medical research, as well as a broad range of community causes and initiatives.

South Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist Raymond Spencer was an awarded AM. He currently chairs SA’s Economic Development Board, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and Committee for Adelaide, as well as being a supporter of a number of for-purpose organisations including Impact100 in SA.

Also in SA, film director and producer Heather Croall received an AM. She is CEO and Festival Director of the Adelaide Fringe, Australia’s largest festival, which supports the Australian arts eco-system and in 2023 sold a million tickets. She is also Chair of Governor’s Aboriginal Employment Industry Cluster (Arts) since 2018, board member of Festivals Adelaide and a current member of both the International Women’s Leadership Forum and Chiefs for Gender Equity South Australia.

Paul Ramsay Foundation board member and former CEO, as well as Goodstart Early Learning founder, Julia Davison received an AM for significant service to children, to youth and to the community.

Oxfam Australia CEO Lyn Morgain was awarded an AM for significant service to the community through a range of organisations. Former National Heart Foundation president Bruce Carter received an AO for distinguished service to business, to charitable organisations, and to the community. Emeritus Professor Cynthia Mitchell of the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney received an AO for distinguished service to the environment.

The full honours list can be found online.