Students Create Philanthropic Fund
4 December 2006 at 1:07 pm
Swinburne University Philanthropy students in Melbourne have created an Australian first by setting up a philanthropic fund – and putting their money where there mouths are.
The Fund has been described as a practical, working model to further enhance their post-graduate learning.
When launching the Swinburne Philanthropy Alumni (SPA) Trust recently, Myer Foundation Director, Rupert Myer, said the students have had the foresight and ambition to establish the trust so that they could directly participate in the life of a philanthropic entity.
Myer said the philanthropic sector was lucky to have alumni so engaged in the issues of philanthropy that they would want to create and participate in a working entity with all of the intricacies that would be confronted in professional practice.
Myer added that the SPA motto of “change through knowledge” was very apt.
Through the SPA Trust, past and present students of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Philanthropy and Social Investment at Swinburne University will travel the same path that many philanthropists take – creating a giving group, complying with legal requirements, raising funds and making grants in the most effective way possible.
Myer said grant making should not be motivated by the heavy and cumbersome hand of obligation, duty or noblesse oblige.
Rather he said grant making is a professional activity that calls upon research, training, skill and judgement, as well as financial acumen. It also required a clear understanding of issues affecting the community.
The SPA Trust, which is a sub-fund located within the Greater Melbourne Foundation of the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund, has already raised $20,000 – an example of students literally putting their money where their mouths are.
Rupert Myer said the establishment of the trust was a timely and valuable initiative linked to the highly successful Swinburne course, which was still unique in Australia and international in its outlook.
He said philanthropists would all benefit from the initiative that honed practical skills attached to the research-based Swinburne program.