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Giving It Away – In Praise of Philanthropy


Monday, 12th May 2003 at 1:05 pm
Staff Reporter
The word ‘philanthropy’ is not often heard around the Australian dinner table. So how many of us give back to our communities, and how do we go about it?

Monday, 12th May 2003
at 1:05 pm
Staff Reporter


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Giving It Away – In Praise of Philanthropy
Monday, 12th May 2003 at 1:05 pm

The word ‘philanthropy’ is not often heard around the Australian dinner table. So how many of us give back to our communities, and how do we go about it? Melbourne researcher and author Denis Tracey took his little tape recorder out to capture the personal stories of Australian philanthropists both rich and poor!

The results are published in his latest book “Giving It Away – In Praise of Philanthropy”.

Giving It Away is described as the first in-depth exploration of Australian philanthropy. Denis Tracey, Deputy Director for the Asia-Pacific Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, has investigated philanthropists at every level, from mums to celebrities to corporate giants.

The publication is a collection of stories by and about Australian philanthropists. Some are well known for their good works (Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, James Fairfax), some are well known for other reasons (Steve Vizard, Peter Brock, Jim Stynes), and many are just faces in the street.

Tracey says the common link is that they all share a love of humanity and a determination to make the world a better place. The stories are told mostly in the philanthropists’ own words and illustrate some basic truths about philanthropy in Australia.

Tracey says that philanthropy is not the sole preserve of the rich, and that is doesn’t even have to involve money.

He says Australian philanthropy is undergoing big changes, as corporations become more engaged with philanthropy, and Not for Profit organisations develop more professional approaches to grant seeking.

Tracey also investigates the biggest inter-generational transfer of wealth ever to occur in Australia, as the baby boomers inherit from their parents. As their mortgages are paid off and kids become independent, more and more people find themselves in a position to give time and money. How do they choose which causes to support, and what results to they expect to see?

Tracey’s investigations are aimed at both general and academic readers. But it is the efforts of the ‘little people’ that make the most touching and interesting case studies. Meet Belinda Gross, a Melbourne mum who founded TreeProject, which has seen more than a million new trees planted around the city. See the other side of motorsport legend Peter Brock, and find out how philanthropy is an intrinsic part of being Jewish.

Denis Tracey has worked in high-level management positions in government and non-profit organisations, captained a tourist barge in France, delivered Maserati cars around England, and recorded four albums of singing. His interest in philanthropy led him to the Asia-Pacific Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment at Swinburne University in 2001. His first book, Family Business, looked at the trials and triumphs of mixing work, love and family life.

If you would like an electronic order form to purchase a copy of “Giving It Away – In Praise of Philanthropy” just send us an e-mail to probono@probonoaustralia.com.au

Denis Tracey with Pro Bono Australia is offering a free copy of the book to the organisation or individual who can best describe their favourite philanthropist or philanthropic story in ONE paragraph. Send your entry via the above e-mail address.



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