Philanthropy Australia’s highlights from Queensland Philanthropy Week

Kim Harland and Kate Duffy Fri, 7 Jun 2024 Estimated reading times: 2 minutes

Philanthropy Australia hosted a series of events in Queensland Philanthropy Week, bringing together members, key sector stakeholders and individuals dedicated to more and better giving in their communities. Here, our Queensland team, Kim Harland, Director of National Membership and Engagement, and Kate Duffy, Associate Engagement Manager, provide a wrap-up.

1. Queensland Philanthropy Week Launch Event

Queensland Philanthropy Week kicked off with a wonderful launch event hosted by Queensland Gives by Queensland Community Foundation at Parliament House. Many of Queensland’s key stakeholders were in attendance as the winner of the 2024 Queensland Gives Photo Challenge and the 2024 Queensland Philanthropy Awards nominees and grant recipients were announced. It was a wonderful celebration of the generosity of Queenslanders. This was the first event attended by Philanthropy Australia’s new CEO, Maree Sidey.

2. Queensland Philanthropy Week Breakfast

It was an early start on Wednesday morning as 180 people gathered for the Perpetual and Philanthropy Australia’s annual Queensland Philanthropy Week Breakfast. It was lovely to hear from our new CEO, Maree Sidey,  as she shared an engaging account of her family’s connection with Queensland. Then we heard great insights from our panel on their philanthropic work and its evolution over time across family and corporate philanthropy, and the pivotal role that the next generation of philanthropists play.

The panel included Jack Coghlan (Chair, Siganto Family Foundation), Jane Magor (National Manager, Philanthropy & Non-Profit Services, Perpetual) and Gill Whelan (General Manager, Decjuba Foundation). The panel was facilitated in conversation by Caitriona Fay, Perpetual’s Managing Partner – Community & Social Investments and ESG.

Jack spoke about the importance of education, as well as the passing on of values through the generations but allowing for flexibility of granting over time.

Gill shared her unique perspective of having worked on both sides of philanthropy – initially in not-for-profit and now as a funder. She spoke about the importance of relationship-building in our sector and shared that, “No conversation with a funder is a wasted conversation”.

Jane identified that the challenges of multi-generational foundations occur where there’s no education or conversation around the foundation’s guiding values and purpose. She said it is the role of the Next Gen to respectfully question the direction of their family foundation and often family foundations look to the Next Gen for fresh and innovative ideas and input.

Kim Harland, Maree Sidey and Kate Duffy

3. Meet The CEO Roundtable 

A group of key stakeholders in the Qld philanthropic sector gathered for an intimate roundtable conversation with CEO Maree Sidey. As incoming CEO, Maree was eager to hear from these stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities for growing philanthropy in Queensland. The primary themes shared by these key funders, community foundations and not-for-profit experts included:

  • Thoughts on growing the already successful collaboration in the sector but noting that this requires patience.
  • Shining a light on the philanthropy that is happening nationally by encouraging those who give to be more public about it. This includes celebrating philanthropy at events such as Queensland Philanthropy Week.
  • It’s a good time to focus on innovation, including around structures for giving (unlocking funds that can be used for philanthropy) and international trends.
  • Philanthropy Australia’s important role as thought leader in the sector.
  • Encouraging more next generation involvement, by using innovation, education and a sense of celebration and fun to bring them in.

4. Meet the CEO Members Evening

The first member event to meet Maree was held in Brisbane on the evening of 6 June. The event was well represented by philanthropic leaders and organisations across the sector and state. It was encouraging to see great support and engagement of our new leader from the community.

Maree shared valuable insights and reflections from her first few days in Queensland, highlighting the impressive collaborative capacity among the state’s funders, which has proven instrumental in achieving substantial impact. Thank you to McCullough Robertson for being such generous hosts.

Maree Sidey speaking at the Meet the CEO Members evening.