Philanthropist Urges Business Support for Arts
Thursday, 22nd June 2006 at 1:06 pm
Philanthropist and former Sydney Lord Mayor Nelson Meers AO has called on a group of leading business people to increase their support for the arts at a recent Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF) breakfast in Melbourne.
Meers told his audience at the Grand Hyatt that Australia lags behind other countries such as the USA, Britain and Finland in philanthropy.
He says the wealthy in Australia are not giving as much as they could and if you have prospered, it should be shared with the community.
The well known philanthropist says he doesn’t want to burden his children with great wealth and it’s better for them to have their own ambitions.
Meers, a former Lord Mayor of Sydney, set up the first Prescribed Private Fund (PPF) in Australia in 2001 and his foundation has backed many arts organisations including the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Art Gallery of NSW and many more.
Meers says philanthropy is increasing because of the growth in prosperity.
He says that recent changes to the tax system had made philanthropy more attractive for many people.
The Australia Business Arts Foundation promotes private sector support for the arts through Giving, Volunteering and Partnering.
The event was hosted by Terry Campbell, chair of Goldman Sachs JBWere and chairman of the Victorian chapter of the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF).
Among the leading business and arts lights present were Ziggy Switkowski, president of the Australian Centre of the Moving Image; John Haddad, director of the Taverns Group; Rhonda O’Donnell, president and Chair of Novell Asia Pacific; Suzanne Davies, director and chief curator of the RMIT Gallery; Sean Dignum, chairman of the SDA Group, and Susan Heron, CEO of the Australian Institute of Management.
For more information check out www.abaf.org.au.