Philanthropy Australia welcomes four Life Members to honour roll

Four of Australia’s most illustrious philanthropists – Gina Fairfax, Tim Fairfax AC, Paula McLean and Rob McLean AM – have been honoured with Philanthropy Australia Life Membership today.

Philanthropy Australia Life Membership is an acknowledgement and recognition of outstanding and distinctive contribution of eminent people in the field of philanthropy in Australia.

Life Membership was bestowed on Gina Fairfax and Tim Fairfax, in recognition of their respective contributions and commitments to the philanthropic sector including their long-term support of Philanthropy Australia.

Through their Brisbane-based family foundation, the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, Gina and Tim’s giving legacy has seen them contribute to rural and regional Australia to an unparalleled extent, alongside passionate support for education and the arts.

Tim was also awarded the 2021 Leading Philanthropist Award at the Australian Philanthropy Awards last month, in recognition of his individual visionary, high impact and transformative philanthropic work.

Paula McLean and Rob McLean were honoured with Life Membership in recognition of their respective contributions to philanthropy, support of Philanthropy Australia, and their equal contributions to their family philanthropy. In 2007, Paula and Rob established the McLean Foundation, a PAF that funds initiatives in education, conservation, literacy and literature.

Today’s special recognition comes just a week after it was announced that Paula donated an extraordinary $1 million gift to the Stella Forever Fund, which seeks to raise $3 million to endow the prize money for the Stella Prize, a major literary prize celebrating women’s writing, in perpetuity.

Announcing the honours, Philanthropy Australia CEO Jack Heath spoke of the incredible vision, commitment and passion that is fundamentally characteristic to Gina, Tim, Paula and Rob.

“I’m honoured to pay tribute to the outstanding contributions of four very special individuals who have played a significant role in shaping our understanding and the practice of philanthropy in this country,” Mr Heath said.

“These incredible philanthropists have deservedly come to be known as true pioneers and leaders in their respective disciplines. As with all great leaders, they have not only forged new paths and broken fresh ground but brought many others on the journey with them.”

The Fairfax’s and McLean’s join esteemed company on the Philanthropy Australia Life Membership honour roll, alongside leading philanthropic figures including Charles Goode AC, Darvell Hutchinson AM, Lady Southey AC, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE (1909-2012) and David Gonski AC.

Today’s Life Membership celebration was accompanied by the launch of the 2022-2025 Philanthropy Australia Strategic Plan, which charts a robust roadmap to building a more generous and giving Australia.