Thursday, 22 February 2024

SA Philanthropy Network evening “Give While You Live”

It is a pleasure officially to open the first in a series of events for the SA Philanthropy Network.

While everyone in this room comes from different backgrounds and brings unique perspectives to the challenges facing us, we are all united in our dedication to strengthening and improving our community.

As a former diplomat, I value highly the outcomes that come from collaboration, sharing a common commitment, and learning from each other’s experiences.

And those qualities are at the heart of the SA Philanthropy Network.

To come together to help foster growth in philanthropy, to share the immense pleasure experienced from giving, and to discover ways

truly to have influence.

I congratulate Kay for her foresight in establishing the Network and for the recent successful launch. I also thank Kay and Julian for their generosity in enabling people to participate without cost.


One of my roles as Governor, alongside my constitutional and ceremonial roles, is to support and encourage a shared sense of community and community actions.

In that regard, Rod and I have the privilege of being patrons, either individually or jointly of more than 170 community groups stretching across voluntary service, industry, education, the arts, sports, and compassionate care.

In our interactions with these people, we are constantly impressed by the depth of their commitment to their communities, the depth of caring and the depth of satisfaction they obtain from knowing they are changing lives.

Not because they have to, but because they want to.

We have already seen how philanthropy can drive positive change. It is one of the things we’ve done best.

We need only look at how generous giving has built our State:

  • the generosity of the Angas family and others in donating large sums for the building of churches, public buildings, and educational institutions.
  • The Bonythons for contributing to the construction of Parliament House and the University of Adelaide’s Bonython Hall, creating work for people when it was most needed.
  • The generosity of the Waite family in bequeathing land for what became the Waite Agricultural Research Institute.
  • The James and Diana Ramsay Foundation for their magnificent donations to the Art Gallery of South Australia, and more widely supporting the arts.
  • The work of your own foundations, some of which we are getting to know.

Such magnanimity similarly abounds in supporting the environment, our learning, and our disadvantaged.

It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture - it can be something small but heartfelt.

As Rod and I travel across the state, we often find philanthropy at the heart of a special project which is valued by the local community.

I know for many the decision to give generously is very personal – it may be in memory of a loved one; to fund research to find cures for diseases that have touched the family; to help find solutions to complex issues confronting our world: poverty, water and food security, climate change.

Or a fervent wish that something good can come out of tragedy.

For an example of this we need look no further than Julian Burton’s own generosity of spirit. After suffering life-threatening burns in the Bali bombing, he wanted to give back to ensure better burns prevention and injury care for others, and to support research.

He established the Julian Burton Burns Trust, which, in its time, raised $20 million.


It will take the collective impact of governments, philanthropists, business leaders and not-for-profits to work together to drive positive change to build a stronger community.

I congratulate Kay on recognising the power of collaboration, connecting philanthropists to the causes they are passionate about and giving signposts to guide them to the resources to maximise their giving.

And I am sure that our guest speaker, Peter Winneke will provide many practical insights into how you can “give while you live.”

Rod and I wish the SA Philanthropy Network well for the future.

May you always be “connecting for positive change.”

Coming events