February 17th, 2021
Executive Officer at Mannifera, Harriet McCallum, discusses the role of philanthropy in strengthening our political system as Australians engage with leaders and decision-makers to demand a stronger, healthier and more representative democracy.
Over the course of this tumultuous year, Australians have engaged with our political leaders and decision-makers on a daily basis. We were asked to prioritise the collective good over individual interests. Evidence has been driving some political responses (even superseding ideology on occasion) with important displays of bi-partisanism that we have rarely seen this century. The questions that have kept turning over in my mind have been;
How do we galvanise Australians’ current levels of political engagement to demand a stronger, healthier and more representative democracy?
How does our respect for and reliance on scientific evidence speak of the electorate’s hunger for our political leaders to make decisions based on independent, trusted sources free of vested interests?
How does our success of prioritising the collective good over individual interests reveal the public’s support for an economy that works for everyone?
These questions all connect to the core mission of Mannifera, a collective of Australian funders who seek to contribute to the task of defending and augmenting our democracy. Mannifera is a space for those in the philanthropic sector who seek to cultivate power-sharing partnerships with civil society organisations that work to restore public trust, transparency and fairness in democracy, increase the quality and diversity of our media and address the structural causes of increasing economic inequality across Australian society.