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Largest independent community foundation launches its centenary year

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Australia’s largest independent community foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, has launched its centenary year at Government House hosted by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC CVO, Governor of Victoria.

“A centenary provides an opportunity to look forward as well as back. As Melbourne is poised to become Australia’s largest city, the Foundation’s generous support – including health, housing, employment and sustainability – is more pressing than ever,” said Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC CVO, Governor of Victoria.

Founded by Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Sir John Swanson in 1923 as The Lord Mayor’s Fund for Metropolitan Hospitals and Charities, the Foundation is now one of Australia’s leading philanthropic organisations.

“The Foundation’s funding priorities reflect its commitment to creating solutions for current challenges –including homelessness and affordable housing, an inclusive and sustainable economy, and healthy and climate-resilient communities,” said The Honourable Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp, City of Melbourne.

The Foundation supported Melburnians through the impact of economic depression and war, poverty and health issues such as polio in the late 1930s and more recently COVID-19, and disaster recovery including bushfires from 1926 to Black Summer Bushfires in 2020.

The Foundation is also preparing for future challenges such as the impact of climate change.

For 100 years, generations of Melburnians have supported the Foundation through fundraising appeals, gifts in their Wills, and community and collective giving.

Through fundraising and endowment income $197 million, valued today as $590 million, has been provided as grants to the charitable and not-for-profit sectors.

“The centenary year provides an extraordinary opportunity for us to celebrate the Foundation’s contribution to Melbourne, and importantly, to prepare for Melbourne’s future challenges,” said Dr Catherine Brown OAM, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation CEO.

This has enabled the Foundation to respond to the issues and challenges of the day, from extreme poverty to disasters to homelessness and now the impacts of climate change.

The Foundation is renowned for its innovative grantmaking and funding of new solutions to address ongoing issues.

In the photo: Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC CVO, Governor of Victoria, with The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Melbourne Sally Capp (left) and Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr Catherine Brown OAM (right). 

Related:New $250,000 grant to support research on the impact of COVID-19 to vulnerable people

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


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