Close Search

TOP 200 Aussie Philanthropists

6 June 2013 at 11:44 am
Staff Reporter
It's a regular topic of discussion in Australian philanthropy: how much do wealthy Australians give - and is it enough? The answers can be found in a new list of Australia’s Top 200 philanthropists.

Staff Reporter | 6 June 2013 at 11:44 am


TOP 200 Aussie Philanthropists
6 June 2013 at 11:44 am

It’s a regular topic of discussion in Australian philanthropy: how much do wealthy Australians give – and is it enough? The answers can be found in a new list of Australia’s Top 200 philanthropists has been released by research consultancy, Fundraising, Research & Consulting.

Some eight families, foundations and individuals are at the top of the list having donated more than $100 million so far.

And it seems the ‘Fs’ have it: Fairfax, Feeney and Forrest are the top three family surnames of philanthropists who have so far donated more than $100 million to Australian causes – the Fairfax Family, Chuck Feeney and Andrew and Nicola Forrest.

In 2011, Fundraising Research and Consulting (FR&C) put together a list of over 100 Australian donors (and some non-Australian donors to Australian causes) who have given over $1m.

The organisation has now updated the list with more than 200 individuals and families.

“We’ve only included people and families whose philanthropy has been mentioned in the public domain – either with a firm figure or with an estimate of their giving,” Principal, Charlotte Grimshaw and Managing Director Conor McCarthy from FR&C said.

“We’ve provided links to the sources we’ve used for each person’s giving. We’ve drawn on previous published lists and added a lot of information from our Giftsearch database and our own researches.”

The GiftSearch database has more than 150,000 Australian donations listed, worth more than $1.8 billion.

Known giving over $100m

  • Fairfax family – over $97m in total giving via Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation since 1962; Tim Fairfax gives over $3m per annum through Tim Fairfax Family Foundation including $1m+ to National Portrait Gallery
  • Chuck Feeney – c. $500m in Australian giving via Atlantic Philanthropies. Recent giving includes $4m to University of Tasmania (2012)
  • Andrew and Nicola Forrest – joined The Giving Pledge in 2013, pledging to give away half their wealth, making them the first Australians to pledge giving billions of dollars. Giving to date includes c. $80m in company shares to Australian Children’s Trust (2007), $2m to the launch of the Australian Employment Covenant/Generation One initiative on indigenous employment, and a further $50m in shares to various charities in 2011 plus a further $5m in shares to Murdoch University and four WA performing arts organisations, and a $3m cash donation to complete the Art Gallery of WA’s $25m campaign. Donations in 2013 include $1m to the Salvation Army.
  • John Kinghorn – Established Kinghorn Foundation in 2005 with $300 million, $25m to Garvan Institute (2009)
  • Myer Family – $179m in total giving to 2012, via the Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, not counting additional giving by Myer family members via their own foundations and PAFs. Recent giving includes a $10m gift from the Myer Foundation, the Ian Potter Foundation, and Martyn and Louise Myer to the University of Melbourne (2013)
  • Clive Palmer – $100m for medical research and remote WA communities (2008), $6m to Duke of Edinburgh Awards Program (2010)
  • Estate of Sir Ian Potter – Over $170m in total giving since 1964, including $15m to the National Gallery of Victoria (2000), $8m to the Australian Ballet (2010), $15m to the Peter McCallum Cancer Foundation (2012), and $10m to fund the Ian Potter Concert Hall at Monash University (2013)
  • Talbot Family – Bequest from Ken Talbot to Talbot Family Foundation of c. $300m (2010)

Known giving over $50m

  • Estate of William Buckland – the William Buckland Foundation distributes around $5m per annum, with total giving to 2010 reaching $74m
  • Gates Foundation – over $50m in Australian giving, including $12.4m to UNSW (2008), $9.7m to Murdoch University (2004), $8.7m to George Institute (2007), $5m to Australian International Health Institute (2004), $4.4m to QUT (2009), $2.9m to QUT (2008), $2.9m to Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (2007), $2m to University of Queensland (2008), $4m to University of Queensland (2013)
  • Lowy Family – $10m to UNSW for the Lowy Cancer Centre (2007), c. $15m to sport and Jewish causes in 2005, $30m to create Lowy Institute for International Policy (2003)
  • Graham and Louise Tuckwell – $50m to ANU for a scholarship fund (2013)
  • Greg Poche – $40m to melanoma research (2005) and $20m to indigenous health (2008, 2010)

For the full list see here.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.


Panel Discussion Webinar

Get more stories like this



  • Lamberto says:

    Hi, I would like to enquire if there is any religious /charitable institution who can provide assistance to a home for the aged in the Philippines, who is in desperate needs of help.

  • Raija Purse says:

    Is there anyone who could help Inanna Inc to stay in business.
    We are a homelessness organisation in Canberra that has been in business for over 30years. Our clients include women escaping domestic violence, people with physical disabilities and mental health issues, families who are homeless for many different reasons. Due to mismanagement our organisation is going to be closed by the end of the month if we don’t receive some help. We have a staff of 50 dedicated people who are passionate about working with the most vulnerable people in the community who will now be out of work if our organisation folds. Inanna has always prided itself in taking the most complex cases and never giving up.

  • amrish says:

    is there any foundation who can help children here in fiji during diwali celebrations. these kids were affected by severe tropical cyclone winston

  • Ron Ryan says:

    Am interested in discussing funding for special business venture

Your email address will not be published.


Labor promises to double giving, answering Philanthropy Australia’s call

Danielle Kutchel

Monday, 11th April 2022 at 1:56 pm

Billionaires taking action on climate change are part of a long tradition


Thursday, 28th October 2021 at 8:07 am

Bringing Vance’s vision to life


Tuesday, 28th September 2021 at 7:00 am

Peter Singer vows to donate million dollar philosophy prize

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th September 2021 at 5:08 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

News for those with purpose.

Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning. 

Thank you - you have successfully subscribed.

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!