International Award for Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund
9 June 2010 at 12:20 pm
The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund have been named as the 2010 recipient of the prestigious International Funders for Indigenous People’s Award – the first time the award has been presented to an organisation outside of North America.
The award is given annually, to an individual or institutional donor that exemplifies leadership in Indigenous Philanthropy.
Christine Edwards, CEO of The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund accepted the Award at the Annual IFIP Awards Celebration during the Ninth Annual Conference themed, “Building and Sustaining Coalitions: Finding Common Ground for Education, Environment and Human Rights Advocacy,” held in Canada.
According to IFIP, The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund have been honoured with the 2010 IFIP Award in recognition of their “outstanding progress towards improving Indigenous education and well-being and support for better natural resource management in Australia.”
Some of the significant work supported by The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund in these areas in recent years includes the People On Country Project of the Centre for Aboriginal and Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University, the Clontarf Foundation’s Football Academies in Alice Springs, and the innovative and influential Stronger Smarter program, developed and implemented by Dr Chris Sarra at the Indigenous Education Leadership Institute.
Edwards says the award provides an opportunity to recognise a history of giving to indigenous affairs by The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund over many years, often in areas that were contentious.
She says one of the most significant examples is research commissioned by the Foundation in the early 1970s called the “Aborigines in Australian Society” Project. Completed primarily by Charles Rowley, this work produced three volumes of writing under the overall title of “Aboriginal Practice and Policy”.
This work has been described as “… the foundation stone for contemporary reflection on Aboriginal history and policy” ,
Edwards says they are fortunate that Myer has a long history of strategic philanthropy, and that the Boards of both entities are progressive in their approaches to contemporary philanthropic practice.
Past winners of the IFIP AWARD include the Garfield Foundation, The Christensen Fund, and the Kalliopeia Foundation.
The first recipient of the award was Susan Berresford, President of the Ford Foundation, for her leadership in increasing a greater commitment from a philanthropic institution for international Indigenous sustainable projects and communities.