Close this search box.

Landmark decision drives new life into old trusts

2 min read

Regarded as an innovative and pioneering model in philanthropy, the 2009 landmark decision by the Supreme Court of Victoria to approve changes to the Alexander Miller Estate enabled this charitable trust to transform to continue benefiting the community in an enhanced and modern way.

The Alexander Miller Estate

Alexander Miller immigrated to Australia from Scotland in the mid-nineteenth century. He established a chain of drapery businesses around Victoria, became a successful businessman, and developed a reputation as a philanthropist and a benefactor.

With a demonstrated social conscience and a desire to effect positive social change, Alexander Miller’s philanthropic initiatives continued after his death in 1914. His will directed that a perpetual charitable trust called the Alexander Miller Estate be established to provide housing for the homeless and support for those at risk of homelessness.

Established in 1914, the charitable trust has 173 units in its portfolio. The properties, built predominantly in the 1920s and 1930s, are modest and well located on diverse sites around regional Victoria. However, because of their age, the Miller homes require capital improvement in order to remain at the forefront of social housing.

Partnerships for positive social change

The trustees of the estate believed that a better outcome for the Miller Estate and its residents was possible through working with partner agencies to redevelop the property portfolio and provide resident support packages.

After a tender process involving Victoria’s housing associations, the trustees selected Wintringham, a specialist in the provision of social housing for elderly men and women, as its preferred partner.

A landmark decision

The proposed changes to the Estate required the approval of the Victorian Supreme Court.

Once approved, the trustees and Wintringham Housing were able to access $32 million of state and federal funds for rebuilding and refurbishing. In addition to a $10 million contribution from the Alexander Miller Estate, this investment will generate 160 purpose-built new or renovated homes

The agreement is regarded as an important milestone in the provision of housing for disadvantaged people in Victoria and is also regarded as an innovative and pioneering model in philanthropy. It was welcomed by the Victorian Government and, as a result, the Office of Housing will explore the possibility of entering into similar projects with other charitable trusts.

+ posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Up