The Ian Potter Foundation.
The grants approved for
2004-05 totalled $4,538,000 and total payments for the year were

Kerry Packer. What we do know: Packer
donated $30 million to cancer research in the states, $10 million to
the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney and $2.5 million to the
NSW Ambulance Service ensuring every ambulance in NSW would be fitted
with a portable defibrillator after he suffered a heart attack in 1990.
BRW: $6.9 billion, up $400 million

Greg Poche
. Founder and owner of Star Track Express – gave $32.5
to The Mater Hospital, North Sydney in December 2005 to
construct a Melanoma Unit, the largest known donation to a single
cause by a
single donor in Australian history.

Paul Ramsay.
Ramsay retains
close links with his school, Riverview. He apparently endows various scholarships, and has made big
donations for specific building projects. Listed as supporter of Black Dog Institute.

Jack Bendat
, West Australian entrepreneur, pledged $5 million
to build a Comprehensive Cancer Centre for Western Australia in 2004.
He’s also given $3 million towards the construction of five Bendat
Houses and the Passages Resource Centre for homeless youth and paid an undisclosed amount recently for a controlling stake in the Perth Wildcats to keep them afloat and training in Western Australia.
BRW: $520 million, up $60 million

David Hains and family. Provided hay to drought-affected properties. Individual donation (undisclosed amount) to YWCA.


John Gandel. Australia’s
second-richest shopping centre owner
after Frank Lowy. The Gandel Charitable Trust gives away in excess of
one million dollars each year, says Philanthropy Australia (the full
amount is not disclosed.) According to last year’s BRW rich list, he’s
an “active member of Melbourne’s philanthropic community. He has
supported several organisations in Israel, and various schools and
hospitals, including Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, of which he is a life
BRW: $1.5 billion, up $100 million

Frank Lowy.

The Westfield Shopping Centre king outlaid $30 million to create his
own think tank, The Lowy Institute for International Policy. Think vanity philanthropy
– and a generous concept of philanthropy. Money to Football Federation
of Australia – a stype of philanthrop. Amount?? In December 2002,
Philanthropy Australia listed Frank Lowy as
Australia’s leading philanthropist, with donations that year of $10
BRW: $4.8 billion, up $600 million

Lindsay Fox.
Hard to know. “We don’t talk about what we do”, he told George Negus when asked whether he was a philanthropist. Is said to have made large donations to alma mater Melbourne High School (Wikipedia!)
BRW: $950 million, up $230 million

not on BRW

Joseph Brown. In 2004, Dr Brown donated the major part of his
collection of Australian art to the National Gallery of
Victoria – the most generous single gift of works of art ever made to a
public gallery in Australia. This one of course is a bit harder to put a price tag to.

Dick Smith. Donates $1 million a year to charity. Last year, his chosen cause was the tsunami. Dick Smith Foods has a record of corporate philanthropy.

Harold Mitchell.
mate Kerry Packer, an occasional one-off donor – gave $1.5 million out
of his own pocket while chairman of the NGA to purchase Lucian Freud’s After Cezanne. Also founded the Harold Mitchell Foundation which in 2005 gave a total of XXX in grants.

Kerry Stokes. Corporate art collection.

Art collector’s $2m gift to Melbourne

March 24 2002

A Melbourne businessman who started his working life
making toasted sandwiches in a city cafe will donate $1 million to the
National Gallery of Victoria and have a gallery named after his family
in the new Federation Square building.

Elias Jreissati, who
migrated to Australia from Lebanon nearly 20 years ago, has also agreed
to lend the NGV for at least six months his recent acquisition, Brett
Whiteley’s Lavender Bay at Dusk. The oil painting, considered one of
Whiteley’s finest, was the talk of the local art world last August when
it sold for $1.129 million at auction to a mystery bidder. The Sunday
Age can now confirm that Mr Jreissati, a property developer and
manufacturer, was the buyer.

But even the Pratts, who sit at the top of the Australian
philanthropy tree only give
$10-12 million a year, a relatively small proportion of their overall
wealth, says Daniel Petre, founder of the Petre Foundation. About 4% of
their wealth is tied up
in philanthropy, whereas in 2004 Forbes magazine estimated that the 20 wealthiest
Americans had, over time, on average given away about 15% of their
wealth, says Tracey.

Maybe wealthy Australians are as generous as their
international counterparts, it’s just that
they’re more discreet in their giving. Nope, that’s a “big con”, says
Petre. Think about it. “If you
extraoplated from the BRW list” and calculated from there, it’d become pretty obvious that this kind of money isn’t getting out.

Indeed. Last year’s richest 200 Australians were sitting on $83.4 billion according to BRW. If only 1% of this money were donated, then that’s $834 million flooding onto the philanthropy market.
Where is this money? Sadly, with a few notable exceptions, “rich Australians are pretty
stingy”, says Tracey.

Of course, the last thing we need is for millionaires to start chucking
money at the market. The best new philanthropists know the importance
of leverage, says Bishop:

know that however large their personal fortunes, they are dwarfed by
the financial resources at the disposal of governments and in the
for-profit marketplace. So to make a real difference, they need to
concentrate their resources on problems that are not being dealt with
by governments or for-profit organisations. Being constrained by
neither voters nor shareholders, they can take risks to find pioneering
new solutions that can then be adopted on a larger scale by governments
or for-profit firms.

Philanthropic innovation. Now that would be something. But first, show us the money.

Louise Walsh

Telephone 02 9215 9022

Australians should give so it hurts a little. We are very lucky we have the life we do. We should give more back.

can be generous. Volunteer hours for the 2000 Olympic Games and funds
donated to tsunami appeals show we pull together when we’re needed. But
are we really as philanthropic as we could be? The results of the Giving Australia report
released in October 2005 are encouraging. Australians are donating more
to charities but we’re still a long way behind the US. Giving in the US
in 2004 as a proportion of GDP was 1.6% compared with 0.68% in

In recent years there have been significant
tax reforms to encourage greater philanthropy, in particular the
introduction of prescribed private funds (PPFs) and pre-tax workplace
giving or payroll deductions. It is exciting that in the first four and
a half years since PPFs were introduced, over 350 new charitable
foundations have been established. In the first two years of workplace
giving, over $12 million has been donated. These trends are
encouraging, but we cannot be complacent.

ever-increasing passion is growing philanthropy, especially to arts and
culture. This will be the main driver of my professional career in
years to come. As Director of Artsupport Australia, I have been
fortunate to work closely with David Gonski who has been instrumental
in Australia’s growth in philanthropy.

Where to from
here? The bleakest picture of philanthropy is our wealthy Australians.
The wealthiest Americans donate about 14.5% of their wealth to their
charitable foundations while in Australia it is only 1 to 4%.
Australians are getting wealthier. Every day, 47 new millionaires join
the pool of 134,000 Australians who have more than $1.33 million in
assets, apart from their family homes. In last year’s BRW Rich List
there were six new billionaires.

The Australian
Taxation Office suggests there are about 3,000 families with net worth
over $20 million. If those families put 10% of their wealth into PPFs
there would be $12 billion invested, resulting in $1 billion per year
in cash going to not-for-profits. It would have a huge impact.

are a great innovation that need to be better promoted to wealthy
Australians and their financial advisers. While this ‘carrot’ approach
targets the wealthy, there is scope to target the broader community
through workplace giving. It is anticipated that workplace giving could
boost donations to not-for-profits by $200 million a year if 10% of the
Australian workforce forgo $2 a week from their pay. We have just begun
the journey. Currently, Americans raise A$16 per capita each year from
workplace giving programs compared to A$4 per capita in the UK, and
just A$0.65 in Australia. The Australian Government should introduce a
significant and sustainable campaign to promote workplace giving, like
the successful Life Be In It campaign.

We have
only ‘scratched the surface’ in our quest to encourage greater giving
in Australia. Why can’t we donate frequent flyer points to
not-for-profits? Why can’t taxpayers directly donate some or all of
their taxation refund cheque to not-for-profits? Why doesn’t the media
regularly profile giving?

There is much work to be done. Australia’s wealth needs to be applied to bettering society. Let me at it.