2014 September Newsletter

September 2014


MWF Members at Philanthropy Australia’s Conference

For all those working in, or with a passion for philanthropy and giving on both the sides of the equation – funders and grant recipients, this bi annual conference held in Melbourne was the place to learn, meet and (for Pat and me) greet our new members. We were delighted to see Wendy, Katarina, Tanya, Jan, Catherine and Sandra to name a few, amongst the attendees. We had a chance to speak to many people about Melbourne Women’s Fund (well it was on Pat and Gillian’s name tags) and to personally thank Dr. Wendy Scaife from Queensland University of Technology, for including information about MWF to The Age journalist (see below) which brought us two new members!! Pictured are Gillian (L) and Katarina.

Giving Circles Get Together

The network of Giving Circles is growing fast in Australia, Melbourne Women’s Fund is (as far as we are aware) the latest group to form. The evening before Philanthropy Australia’s conference gave us an opportunity for Committee members from Giving Circles around Australia to meet and share stories and experiences. Fortunately we had people from; Impact100WA, Impact100SA, Impact100Melbourne, Kids in Philanthropy, Awesome, Women and Change (Brisbane) and Swinburne Philanthropy Alumni. Pictured are Vanessa (L) and Rikki – a couple of Impact100Melbourne founders and also new members of Melbourne Women’s Fund.

“Giving for Giving’s Sake” article by Lucinda Schmidt The Age newspaper Aug 20, 2014

“Local philanthropy is casting off its cloak of secrecy and is now coming out loud, proud and generous.” This is the opening of the well rounded article by Lucinda, identifying that philanthropy is not just for billionaires, that everyday earners can also get “bang for their philanthropic buck’ by joining the new phenomenon – Giving Circles! Vanessa Meachen, a highly regarded philanthropy professional and one of the founders of Impact100 Melbourne, was featured and often quoted in the article. Thank you Vanessa!

Click here to see the article

A FEW SPACES LEFT for our next event – A Conversation with Genevieve Timmins – Friday 19 September.

Our first Conversation event will be led by Genevieve Timmons, one of Melbourne’s most experienced Philanthropy Executives, an author, respected speaker and a Philanthropy Australia Council member.

Genevieve will lead a discussion about why and how we can be savvy givers and guests will also receive a copy of her book “”The Art and Science of Philanthropy – Savvy Giving”.

Ernst and Young are kindly hosting us (at no charge) in a beautiful EY boardroom and it includes a delicious light luncheon.

Bookings are through Eventbrite and the $50.00 cost includes your luncheon and a copy of Genevieve’s book – which she will also sign for you!

New Member Profile – Wendy Brooks

I joined the Melbourne Women’s Fund because I am very committed to doing whatever I can to empower women and girls. A healthy and robust community is dependent on the health and wellbeing of the women and girls. I am the eldest of 5 sisters, mother of 2 daughters and grandmother of 2 granddaughters. All my life I have been surrounded by capable and empowered women. However I can’t help being concerned for my daughters and granddaughters. I am well aware that our society continues to have a strong gender bias. While there are many men, like my husband and our sons, who treat the women in their lives with respect and equality, there are persistent barriers to equal participation and full economic empowerment for women everywhere.

These barriers are an issue for women who have the privilege of education and financial comfort and fit within the “middle class mould” of our society. There are a much greater barriers to overcome for women and girls who fit into one or more of the following: Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander; are under-educated; over 50 years; have a disability or mental illness; are from culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds; are suffering sexual or psychological abuse; or have an alcohol or drug dependency.

Despite the enormous obstacles faced by many women, I am constantly inspired and heartened by the warmth, creativity and vitality of women and girls of all ages. My hope is that the Melbourne Women’s Fund will inspire those of us who are empowered, to join together to pool our funds and support projects that break down some of the barriers to full participation faced by the most marginalised women. Together we can stand up for the women and girls who are silenced and invisible.”

Wendy Brooks, BMus, LLB (Hons), AMICDA


Come join us. We welcome all women who want to learn about philanthropy and who are interested in joining like-minded women to achieve greater impact through their pooled donations. Our members will learn about effective giving and discover the local needs of women and families. Together we can make a difference for women and families in Melbourne!

Click here for more information and a membership form

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