National Conference 2021

What does the future need from us?

The Philanthropy Australia National Conference is the premier thought-leadership event of its type in the Australasian region. It is our biannual opportunity to bring the Australian philanthropic sector and broader community together with the world’s best thinkers, strategists and leading voices to act as a catalyst for change.

Location: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC)

Date: Wednesday 21 April and Thursday 22 April 2021 (2-day event)

Theme: The theme of this year’s conference is 'What does the future need from us?'

The world and our society are changing dramatically and standing still is not an option. The future is our judge. Therefore, we need to ask: What does the future need from us, now?

This year’s conference program will focus on what Australia and our global future needs from philanthropy. It will unpack and debate the future needs of our society and the role of philanthropy in addressing these challenges. Over two jam-packed days, we will challenge, inspire and provoke thinking by probing how our attitudes, thinking and practice must evolve to remain accountable to the future. Which directions should we take? Who decides? And based on what evidence or signals?

The program will include a dynamic mix of keynote presentations, panels, in-conversation sessions, smaller concurrent working sessions and networking drinks across two days, with more opportunities than ever to engage with a captive audience.

The subthemes for this year’s conference are guided by four leading questions:

  1. WHAT direction should we take?
  2. WHO decides?
  3. WHERE is the evidence, what are the signals?
  4. HOW do we get there, what do we actually do?


Breakout Session Expression of Interest

The program will comprise up to 20 concurrent breakout sessions over the two days. Three of these sessions are place marked to share the 2020 Australian Philanthropy Awards case studies. Concurrent sessions will run for 50 minutes each and each session will feed into the overarching conference theme of ‘What does the future need from us?’

EOI Submissions closed as of Thursday 13 March.

The timeline for this process is outlined below.

  1. Call for EOIs announced via Philanthropy Weekly – Thursday 13 February
  2. Deadline to submit EOIs – Friday 13 March (all EOIs must be submitted via the editable PDF)
  3. Reference Group to review EOIs: May 2020
  4. Individuals advised of the outcome of their EOI submission(s): mid-June 2020
  5. PA will work closely with stakeholders related to EOIs for inclusion in the conference program to ensure alignment with theme and that each session is well curated. 

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