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Transformative, strategic, best practice philanthropy recognised at Australian Philanthropy Awards

November 17th, 2020

The breadth, depth and transformative impact of philanthropic excellence and innovation has been showcased today at the sixth annual Australian Philanthropy Awards ceremony.

Following a record number of nominations, Awards were presented to recipients across nine Award categories: Leading Philanthropist, Better Philanthropy, Bolder Philanthropy, Best Grant Program, Community Philanthropy, Environmental Philanthropy, Indigenous Philanthropy, Gender-wise Philanthropy and International Philanthropy.

From a place-based Victorian program equipping children with skills to identify and address real-world problems facing their community, to a project addressing climate change alongside sustainable economic development in the NT, to support for investigative journalism into Indigenous affairs, all nine recipients exemplify contemporary, best practice philanthropy.

Australia’s highest philanthropic honour, the Leading Philanthropist Award, was awarded to Carol Schwartz AO in recognition of her outstanding contribution to philanthropy and her insights into giving, community, leadership and gender.

Acknowledging the challenges of 2020, Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies highlighted the critical role that philanthropy has played in supporting community throughout this difficult year, and the importance of strategic, best practice philanthropy as we collectively recover and rebuild.

“We started the year with the devastating bushfires, followed swiftly by the global health pandemic, and now we face social and economic challenges, volatility and vulnerability,” Sarah said.

“Never has there been a more important time for Australian philanthropy. We have been so inspired and energised by the way our members have responded - generously, cleverly, nimbly, strategically.

“More than ever, we need creative, innovative and brave solutions that build on partnerships, technology, learned wisdom and most importantly, community experience and community voice.

“Philanthropy has a duty to act, and in these times, it has a duty to lead. Philanthropy comes from having a sense of ability and power to be part of thinking and designing the futures that we want. The extraordinary nine case studies recognised show the transformative power that good partnership, powerful community leadership and powerful philanthropy can achieve together.”

The Australian Philanthropy Awards recognise and celebrate extraordinary achievements in contemporary philanthropy. They also celebrate partnerships between philanthropy and for-purpose organisations and honour those who are working to create lasting, positive change. The stories behind the 2020 recipients and their projects will be available on the Philanthropy Australia website on 17 November, following the screening of the Awards ceremony at 3 pm.

The Australian Philanthropy Awards were generously partnered by Australian Community Philanthropy, Australian Communities Foundation, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, Australian Women Donors Network, Ninti One, Australian International Development Network, Australian Council for International Development, Macquarie Group and Grant Toolbox.

2020 Australian Philanthropy Award Recipients

Leading Philanthropist
Carol Schwartz AO

Better Philanthropy Award
Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Housing Choices Australia for the Affordable Housing Challenge

Bolder Philanthropy Award
Gandel Philanthropy and the Australian Foundation for Yad Vashem for the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators

Best Grant Program Award
Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) for the Tackling Tough Times Together program

Community Philanthropy Award
Give Where You Live Foundation and Geelong Community Foundation and Kids Thrive for the Geelong Kids as Catalyst program

Environmental Philanthropy Award
The Pace Foundation (and six other funders) and Beyond Zero Emissions for the 10 Gigawatt Vision 

Gender-wise Philanthropy Award
Brian and Virginia McNamee Foundation and WIRE for the Purse Project

Indigenous Philanthropy Award
The Balnaves Foundation and Guardian Australia for working together to deliver independent investigative reporting into Indigenous affairs 

International Philanthropy Award
Accenture Australia and Good Return for working together to build the financial capability of vulnerable people in Cambodia and Nepal 

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