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3 min read

Philanthropy says Yes with pledge to support Voice

Australian Communities Foundation has joined an alliance of some of Australia’s leading philanthropic foundations to declare its support for Voice. Today, this alliance announced a combined $17 million pledge from the philanthropic sector to the Yes campaigns, with more funding to come.

Thirty-one of Australia’s leading philanthropic foundations and funders have joined the philanthropic pledge, all calling for the need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to have a say in the matters that affect them through an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Alongside Australian Communities Foundation, signatories to the Pledge include the Besen Family Foundation, CAGES Foundation, MECCA M-POWER, the Nelson Meers Foundation, The Myer Foundation, Oranges & Sardines Foundation, the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Perpetual, the Ross Trust, the Snow Foundation and many more. The pledge continues to be circulated among the sector, encouraging others to join to show their support for Voice.

The Pledge includes Australian Communities Foundation’s commitment to raise $1 million through its Impact Fund 2023 grant round, Voices for Impact.

Chris Croker, proud Luritja man and Australian Communities Foundation Director, said the commitment reflected the broad support from the Foundation’s donor community.

”Even though there’s a political divide in Canberra, I don’t think that translates across the Australian community. The vast majority of donors we work with are happy to support the Voice,” Chris told the Australian Financial Review.

“By practically listening to Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal communities, we can have more efficiency in tackling systemic changes, which are legacies of colonisation. It’s past time to get these things fixed.”

Australian Communities Foundation CEO, Maree Sidey, said the Pledge was “an important step in building consensus around the opportunity that lies ahead this year.”

“The prospect of a referendum can be incredibly daunting, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the size of the task. But the challenge is also the opportunity. This kind of collaboration is key to achieving a positive outcome this year for a fairer Australia.”

Philanthropy Australia CEO, Jack Heath, welcomed the Pledge and said it was a great example of philanthropy doing what it does best – coming together to advocate for change that will have a profound, long-term impact in the lives of individuals and their communities.

“Philanthropy Australia’s support for the Yes case is based on listening to what First Nations peoples say is needed to improve their daily lives and it is backed by the overwhelming majority of our membership.

“We believe that a successful referendum will lead to a better future for all Australians and we acknowledge those philanthropists who are leading the way through this pledge.”

Feature image (left to right): Jodi Kennedy, Equity Trustees; Tabitha Lovett, Besen Family Foundation; Leonard Vary, The Myer Foundation; Kristy Muir, Paul Ramsay Foundation; Georgina Byron, The Snow Foundation; Chris Croker, Australian Communities Foundation; Kate Kennedy, Barlow Impact Group; Jill Reichstein, Reichstein Foundatio; Caitriona Fay, Perpetual; Sarah Hardy, The Ross Trust; Julie Kantor, Annamila First Nations Foundation; Catherine Brown, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation; Maree Sidey, Australian Communities Foundation.