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Australia’s biggest private givers

The Paul Ramsay Foundation has at least $4 billion in assets, its value fluctuating with the Ramsay Health Care share price, the Australian Financial Review reports.

The Foundation sits atop the inaugural Australian Financial Review Magazine JBWere Philanthropy 50 list, which details the top private gifts across the country in the financial year to June 30, 2016. It gave away $45.2 million in the 2015/16 financial year. Its funding has gone to projects such as LifeSpan, a Black Dog Institute suicide prevention program. Mental health and chronic disease are key areas of focus within the health component of Ramsay’s funding.

In education, Ramsay’s funding focus is on early learning, teacher quality and transitioning school leavers to employment. In Tasmania, it’s given to a program to improve year 12 completion rates. “It’s trying to break that cycle of intergenerational unemployment,” says Freeman. The foundation has also funded a leadership development program at Teach for Australia, which retrains people from non-teaching careers to become teachers, with the idea of putting high-performing, inspirational individuals into schools to engage students living in disadvantaged areas.

White Rabbit Gallery founder Judith Neilson pledged $10 million to the University of NSW for a Chair in Architecture. The Lowy Foundation, created by Westfield billionaire Frank Lowy, gave $17.8 million to medical research and the Lowy Institute think tank.

Barry and Joy Lambert committed an estimated $6.7 million of a $33.7 million pledge for research into medicinal cannabis to the University of Sydney. Their granddaughter suffers from a form of childhood epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, which cannabis is used to treat.

Also on the Philanthropy 50 list are well-known, long- established foundations such as the Ian Potter and Myer foundations, the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and the Collier Charitable Fund.


Philanthropy 50: biggest private givers in 2016 (Australian Financial Review)