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3 min read

Why I give: 3 questions with Penny Burke

Profile of Nicole Richards
Written by Nicole RichardsPosted on 28/2/2020

Penny Burke is an Australian Communities Foundation Board Director. She’s also a business owner and market researcher, consultant, author and regular speaker on behaviour change and the importance of making emotional connections not just providing rational facts.

Anyone who’s met Penny will know that she’s a straight shooter with a quick sense of humour. She has been known to describe herself as a ‘shocking oncer’: having run one marathon; parachuted out of a plane once; performed at Carols by Candlelight once; and been married, so far, just once.


Why do you think giving is important?

PB: I believe in the philosophy that “How a society treats its most vulnerable is a measure of its humanity”. While giving does not always focus only on the vulnerable, a lot of it does and if we don’t help, then who will?


In terms of your own personal giving, which cause areas are most important to you and why?

Some time ago my family and I moved to an annual larger size giving model, rather than giving to various causes throughout the year. We sit down with our kids at Christmas time, and discuss what we think is important and close to our collective hearts that year.

We also try to focus on giving to smaller causes and where our donation will make the largest impact. This approach has found us giving to causes as diverse as dyslexia support and cancer, international humanitarian cause and even helping a local community that needed to rebuild its pub after fire.


What do you love most about Australian Communities Foundation?

Just one thing?!! That’s a tough one! I like the whole concept – it’s so sensible and makes me feel like I make even more of a difference.

I like that someone else is doing a lot of the work for me and I can pick and choose what I like best. I like the sense of community, and the idea that together we are kicking some serious bottom (!).

And I really like the people. Yep, can’t choose just one thing!