New Forum to Develop and Support Philanthropy Established
6 June 2017 at 8:23 am
After years in the making a new parliamentary group between parliamentarians and philanthropists has formed.
The Parliamentary Friends of Philanthropy Group, established in May, is backed by shadow assistant treasurer and Labor MP Andrew Leigh and Liberal MP Lucy Wicks who will be the inaugural chairs.
In a joint letter supporting the formation of the group Leigh and Wicks said the group aimed to “provide a nonpartisan forum for MPs and Senators to stay engaged with the critical contributions philanthropic foundations are making across many sectors of the community”.
Leigh told Pro Bono News it was important for parliamentarians to support and nurture a growing culture of philanthropy in Australia.
“There is a broad recognition across parliament that we need to do more to boost philanthropy,” Leigh said.
“The latest bureau of Australian Statistics I was looking at saw a decrease in the share of Australians who said they had given to charity had fallen from 71 to 65 per cent. So I do think there is work to be done.
“Philanthropy should be about mass participation rather than an elite sport.”
Philanthropy Australia CEO Sarah Davies told ProBono News she welcomed the group and that its establishment would help raise awareness around the role and impact of philanthropy within the community, and cultivate ongoing support for philanthropy across the political spectrum.
“Philanthropy Australia is delighted that a Parliamentary Friends of Philanthropy group has been set up – it’s a real demonstration of the fantastic support we have for philanthropy within Australia’s Parliament,” Davies said.
Parliamentary Friends of Philanthropy Group will launch at Philanthropy Meets Parliament Summit on 11 September.