Shane Warne Closes Controversial Foundation
29 January 2016 at 3:37 pm
Controversial former cricketer Shane Warne has announced that he will be shutting down his charitable foundation following months of negative attention.
Warne defended his record, saying that almost $4 million had been distributed to charities since The Shane Warne Foundation (TSWF) was launched in 2004.
In December last year Fairfax media reported that from 2011 to 2013 TSWF had passed on just 16c of every dollar it raised to registered charities to help sick and underprivileged children.
The foundation disputed this figure and said it had given away an average of 50c per dollar over its 12 year history.
Consumer Affairs claimed it was investigating Warne’s foundation amid other reports that his brother Jason Warne had received a salary of $80,000 for his work with TSWF.
In a lengthy Facebook post Warne said that while he was closing the foundation his “passion to improve the lives of children, teenagers and their families, who need emotional support, medical intervention and hope for a healthier, happier future, remains”.
“When [TSWF] officially launched back in 2004, it had one very clear vision: to give back, make a difference and to enrich the lives of seriously ill, underprivileged children and teenagers in Australia,” Warne said.
“That core dream continues in the hearts and minds of everyone involved – something that will never die.”
Warne said the foundation was due to receive one final “substantial” cheque by 18 March and all of its accounts would be audited by private firm KPMG.
A Consumer Affairs Victoria spokesperson said it would continue to investigate Warne’s foundation.
“Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is aware of reports in the media that The Shane Warne Foundation (TSWF) has announced it is ceasing its operations,” the spokesperson said.
“CAV issued a ‘Notice of Direction to audit accounts and records’ in December requiring an audit of TSWF’s fundraising activities for the past three-and-a-half-years.
The audit must be conducted by a registered company auditor and is scheduled for completion by 29 February 2016.”
The spokesperson said CAV was not informed ahead of Warne’s Facebook post that he was closing his foundation.
Warne said he TSWF had been subject to “unwarranted speculation” about its future.
He said the closure of his charity would not mean the end of his charitable giving.
“[It] has been an absolute honour and privilege to be able to give back to children, and make a difference to their lives. Yes, the foundation is closing, but all of us will continue to make a difference to children in need,” he said.
“There will be no further comment from TSWF Board Members or Chairman.”