Victorian Premier's Philanthropy Push
20 August 2001 at 1:08 pm
Victoria’s Labor Premier, Steve Bracks, says his government is looking at new ways to best engage the philanthropic and corporate sectors in community building.
The Premier hosted a Government reception for the Victorian philanthropic community declaring that one of Labor’s key priorities is community building – helping communities tackle issues that concern them, giving them a voice and helping them develop their own strategies to open up new economic and social opportunities.
Premier Bracks told Chairperson Lady Southey, Board members and affiliates of Philanthropy Australia, as well as special guests Sir Gus Nossal and Sir Ninian Stephen, that Victoria should be proud of its status as the home of philanthropy with 80% of Australian Foundations based there.
He said it is fair to say that we have our philanthropic organisations to thank for the fact that Victoria now has some of the world’s very best medical research centres that are now crucial in the push into new industries like biotechnology.
The Premier said philanthropic organisations today have shifted their focus to more innovative cutting edge investments; looking at new ways to tackle social problems, providing seed capital for experimental community projects, giving a voice to people and helping them advocate their concerns to government.
The Victorian Government says it is taking a bottom-up approach by working with communities to identify key issues, concerns and practical solutions putting significant funds into community building, through the restructured Community Support Fund and through 10 demonstration pilot projects across the State.
Recently, Philanthropy Australia, as part of a consortium, won the tender for the Government’s Partnership Development Project.
The project aims to build partnerships between the business and philanthropic partners, and government and community groups to develop practical community building strategies.
The Government says it is looking to this project to give it some extremely good advice on how it can best engage the philanthropic and corporate sectors in community building and how, within these partnerships Victoria can best harness the enormous experience, skills and knowledge of the community sector.
The Premier says this project is a crucial part of his Government’s community building strategy.
As well he said that beyond community building, the Government certainly wants to engage more closely and actively with the philanthropic sector.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet is currently talking with Philanthropy Australia on how it might cooperate in future, and how we might provide incentives for giving.
But he said the government and the sector also needs to work together to deliver projects and strategies that are sustainable over the longer term.
In recent years, he said, many communities in Victoria had lost faith that their concerns were being heard and addressed.
He concluded that by working together, in partnership, Victoria can turn that around and restore that faith.
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