News + Media

MEDIA RELEASE: Co-Chairs to lead peak body for first time

May 21st, 2019

For the first time in its 42-year history, the Philanthropy Australia board has elected two co-Chairs to lead the organisation following the retirement of outgoing Chair Alan Schwartz AM. 

Mr Schwartz announced his retirement at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting in Melbourne yesterday afternoon.

Following Mr Schwartz’s announcement, the board elected Amanda Miller and Ann Johnson as co-Chairs effective from 1 July 2019.

Philanthropy Australia CEO, Sarah Davies, welcomed the appointments and said it would mean the organisation now has a co-Chair located in each of the country’s two largest cities.

“For the first time, we can truly embrace our position as a leading national peak body. Having co-Chairs located in both Melbourne and Sydney means we can further extend our influence as the national peak body for giving in Australia,” Ms Davies said.

Melbourne based Ms Miller is a co-founder of Impact Generation Partners. She Chairs Kids in Philanthropy and is a committee member of the Impact Investment Forum. Ms Miller was recently appointed as Deputy Chair of the Federal Government Social Impact Investing Expert Panel. She began her career as a corporate lawyer before moving into the philanthropic sector, working with not-for-profit organisations and in philanthropic services with family foundations.

Sydney based Ms Johnson is a director of the W & A Johnson Family Foundation. Ms Johnson and her husband Warwick established their Private Ancillary Fund in 2006. She is Chair of the Sydney Theatre Company Foundation and Deputy Chair of the Sydney Theatre Company. Ms Johnson trained as a lawyer and has worked for law firms in Sydney and Tokyo.

Both Ms Miller and Ms Johnson said they were delighted to accept the role of co-Chairs. 

“This is a terrific honour for me to be able to use my experience to help build the philanthropic sector in Australia. I’m excited to be able to carry on the wonderful work Alan has achieved as Chair, and I look forward to working with Ann to achieve more and better philanthropy and grow giving in Australia,” Ms Miller said.

“I’m delighted to share the responsibility as co-Chair of Philanthropy Australia with Amanda. Together we are well positioned to build on Alan’s work and lead the organisation into the final year of our 2017-2020 Strategic Map to shape the future of the sector and advance philanthropy in Australia,” Ms Johnson said.

Outgoing Chair Alan Schwartz welcomed Amanda and Ann’s appointments.

“Whilst I’m sad to be stepping down as Chair, I’m delighted to be able to pass on the role to such a talented and skilled pair. Amanda and Ann both have a wealth of experience in the philanthropic sector and bring passion and commitment to the role of co-Chair,” he said.

In reflecting on his retirement as Chair, Mr Schwartz said he was proud of the Board’s achievements during his tenure.

“As I look back on my time as President and Chair over the past five years, I think about the goals I had when I first joined the Board – a happy membership base, a government that listened and respected us and financial sustainability. I’m proud I’ve stuck to those goals and these can clearly be seen in many of our achievements over the past five years,” Mr Schwartz said.

Ms Davies thanked Mr Schwartz for his time as Chair.

“Alan is a strategic thinker who can see the bigger picture and infinite possibilities. When I joined Philanthropy Australia as CEO in 2015, he welcomed me warmly into the fold. We’ve worked together closely over the past four years to progress our thinking around where we are and what we want to be as an organisation.

“I thank Alan immensely for his contribution to Philanthropy Australia, and the sector in general. I’m very much looking forward to working with Amanda and Ann on the next stage of our journey as a peak body,” Ms Davies said.

Mr Schwartz will continue in the role as Chair until 30 June 2019.

Download PDF copy of this press release here.

-ENDS-

As the peak body for giving, Philanthropy Australia uses the collective voice of the hundreds of funders, social investors, for-purpose organisations and change agents that comprise its membership community to advocate for policy and regulatory environments that enable more philanthropy with impact in Australia.

As the peak body for giving, Philanthropy Australia uses the collective voice of the hundreds of funders, social investors, for-purpose organisations and change agents that comprise its membership community to advocate for policy and regulatory environments that enable more philanthropy with impact in Australia.

Media contact:
Dan Anderson, Communications Manager
Philanthropy Australia
M: 0400 549 885
T: 03 9665 9112
danderson@philanthropy.org.au

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