Goodbye to Stegley -The Legacy Lives On
Monday, 6th August 2001 at 1:08 pm
After 25 years of progressive philanthropy, The Stegley Foundation may have officially closed its doors but its legacy of good works are not about to fade from the scene.
The ‘official’ farewell celebration was a mixture of excitement and sadness for the Victorian Foundation that set itself a five-year goal to wind up its funding operations back in 1997.
In a successful brother and sister act, Brian and Sarah Stegley have made a cutting edge investment in social justice. Both have often used the analogy that they are not about sticking on band-aids but rather empowering people to work towards a fairer and just society.
Stegley’s Manager of Community Development, Trudy Wyse says the Foundation has taken the role of promoting progressive philanthropy seriously.
Wyse says that in partnerships with individual donors and at public forums, Stegley has used every opportunity to raise discussion and debate about the need to go beyond handouts to the poor, to supporting those people working to change the social and economic structures which discriminate.
As part of Stegley’s aim to give people a voice and supporting advocacy, the Foundation announced three projects that will continue to carry its name for some time to come.
The first is the launch of the r.u.MAD project (Make and Difference – Education about Philanthropy) designed to raise awareness within the Australian community about the importance of giving. The MAD project sees the development of curriculum material and associated practical activities for use in schools.
Trudy Wyse says the project is designed to encourage primary and secondary level students to better understand the importance of giving back to their communities, both financially and in other ways. Trialing of the material in schools will continue throughout 2001. You can check out the web site for more information at www.rumad.org.au.
A second project follows on from a partnership between the Foundation and the School of Social Science and Planning at RMIT in Victoria and the need to provide opportunities for community activists to develop skills in advocacy and social action.
Funding has been set aside for an annual Social Justice Research Award to be made to a post-graduate student whose completed thesis makes the greatest contribution to the advancement of social justice in Australia or elsewhere.
Wyse says the purpose of the award it to encourage, recognise and celebrate such research efforts as well as to contribute to capacity building by encouraging young researchers in the broad area of social justice.
And in a final act of goodwill, the Stegley Foundation has handed over a collection of archival letters written by G A Robinson, the first chief protector of Aborigines in the Port Phillip District, to the Museum of Victoria.
The letters were purchased at auction by the Stegley Foundation to put the documents into the public domain where they would be accessible to the Koorie and wider community. The collection is being donated to the Museum with the Aboriginal Heritage Advisory Committee maintaining its custodial role.
Brian Stegley wrote in the Foundations final Annual report that his major motivation has been to try to have the groups they have supported and advocated feel more whole at the end of the process.
He concluded that on many occasions he could sense that Stegley had been successful!
If you have a story to tell about the impact of the Stegley Foundation and its contribution to the advancement of philanthropy why not share it on our web site Forum at probonoaustralia.com.au.