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Four outstanding Australians added to National Conference line-up

April 19th, 2021

Anticipation is building ahead of next week’s Philanthropy Australia National Conference 2021, to be held online on 21-22 April, with four new speakers added to the inspired line-up.

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Hon John Howard OM AC, Former Prime Minister of Australia; Mr David Gonksi AC, businessman, philanthropist and community leader; Ms Sam Meers AO, cultural leader and philanthropist; and Ms Sam Mostyn AO, corporate leader and gender inclusion advocate, to the conference program.

Mr Howard, Mr Gonski and Ms Meers will join us for a special one-of-a-kind conversation on the afternoon of Wednesday 21 April to mark the 20th anniversary of the introduction of private ancillary funds in Australia.

An important policy reform, together with other initiatives, private ancillary funds have helped philanthropy grow and flourish in Australia. As we look towards the next 20 years, what changes in policy and practice do we need if we are to see philanthropy truly make the impact that the future needs from it, now?

In this session, Ms Meers will facilitate a conversation between Mr Howard and Mr Gonski, the two key players behind the introduction of private ancillary funds in Australia, as they look back on 20 years in Australian philanthropy and forward to the future.

Following this, Philanthropy Australia CEO Jack Heath will present Philanthropy Australia’s Blueprint to Grow Giving, which provides a 10-year strategy to double structured giving by 2030.

Based on extensive stakeholder engagement and consultation, the Blueprint provides a roadmap for enhancing Australia’s culture of philanthropy and capitalising on the $2.6 trillion intergenerational wealth transfer expected to happen over the next two decades.

Ms Mostyn will open the second day of the conference sessions on Thursday 22 April with a powerful keynote address on gender equity and the critical role of purposeful, direct investment.

Women, safety and gender equality are at the centre of the national debate about our future. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women’s job and economic security, while recent events and discussions have exposed a myriad of systemic issues facing women, from safety in the workplace, to ongoing barriers to participation and equality.

In this timely keynote, Ms Mostyn will explore the current state of play for gender equality in Australia, and the critical role of philanthropy in driving respect, opportunity, and equity for women.

John Howard, David Gonski, Sam Meers and Sam Mostyn will join a host of Australian and international speakers on 21-22 April for two days of online sessions designed to challenge, motivate and provoke big-picture thinking as the sector comes together to ask: what does the future need from us, now?

Other speakers include: Phil Buchanan, President of the US-based Center for Effective Philanthropy; Naina Subberwal Batra, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (SIN); Professor Marcia Langton AM, anthropologist, geographer and Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne; Edgar Villanueva, Senior Vice President of Programs and Advocacy at the US-based Schott Foundation, and Founder and Chief Strategist, Decolonizing Wealth; Valerie Chang, Managing Director, Programs, MacArthur Foundation (US); The Honourable Ratna Omidvar, Independent Senator for Ontario, The Senate of Canada; and Carol Schwartz AO, Philanthropy Australia’s 2020 Leading Philanthropist.

On 5-6 May, after time to reflect and refresh, participants will come back together online for two days of interactive, inspiring workshops. Led by some of Australia’s leading practitioners, leaders and change makers, the diverse workshop program will offer breakthrough thinking at the very forefront of change and provide practical examples of how to advance practice.

Philanthropy Australia CEO Jack Heath welcomed the addition of the four outstanding Australians to the powerful conference speaker line-up.

“The last eighteen months have challenged our Australian and global communities in ways we could never have imagined and will continue to shape our lives and ways of thinking as we move forward into the unknown,” Mr Heath said.

“We are honoured to welcome these four leading Australians to the National Conference virtual stage, as we explore and interrogate the emerging and future needs and directions of society, and the role and criticality of philanthropy in a changing world.

“We don’t yet know what the future holds, but we do know that philanthropy has a critical role to play in supporting our communities as we move through post-pandemic recovery and beyond,” Mr Heath said.

“Our National Conference program has been designed to challenge and motivate big-picture thinking about the future needs of our society, and to unpack and explore how our philanthropic attitudes, approach and practice can evolve to remain accountable to the future. We look forward to sparking new ways of thinking and dynamic, open and ongoing conversations.”

Registration for the 2021 Philanthropy Australia National Conference is open to members and non-members from Australia and around the globe. Register now.

Hon John Howard OM AC Mr David Gonksi AC Ms Sam Meers AO Ms Sam Mostyn AO

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