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Packer family pledges $200m philanthropic fund

Source: Pro Bono Australia

Billionaire Australian businessman James Packer is setting up one of Australia’s largest philanthropic foundations pledging $200million over 10 years in charity funding.

The Foundation will be funded jointly via the Packer Family Foundation and the Crown Resorts Foundation - which receives funds from Packers world wide entertainment businesses - for charities that promote the arts and indigenous education.

The Chair of the Packer Family Foundation, Gretel Packer, announced the $200 million National Philanthropic Fund, marking a commitment over 10 years by the Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer Family Foundation.

“This exciting collaboration between Crown Resorts and our family creates a platform from which to contribute towards strengthening communities in Australia and developing our artistic future,” Gretel Packer said.

“Today’s announcement commits us to another decade of financial support for organisations which work tirelessly to deliver services, assistance and opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Crown Resorts’ Chairman James Packer said.

“I would like to congratulate and thank my sister Gretel for being the driving force behind the establishment of this Fund.

“The previously announced $60 million Sydney Arts Fund will fall within the National Arts Fund.”

The $200 million National Philanthropic Fund will be administered jointly by the Crown Resorts Foundation Board, chaired by Helen Coonan, and the Packer Family Foundation Board, chaired by Gretel Packer.

“Both Boards offer extensive philanthropic experience with other members including Roslyn Packer AO, Harold Mitchell AC and Lucy Turnbull AO,” James Packer said.

He said the Crown Resorts Foundation Board was further supported by an Advisory Board, which provides recommendations on the merits of eligible projects.

The $200 million National Philanthropic Fund will be structured as follows:

$100 million will be donated to eligible charities which promote the arts (the National Arts Fund); and

$100 million will be donated to eligible charities which support the broader community and, in particular, Indigenous education (the Community Partnerships and Indigenous Education Fund).

“The National Arts Fund aims to promote both access to and the development of the Arts across Australia. It will support projects and organisations that encourage excellence, innovation and creativity in the Arts,” Gretel Packer said.

“The Community Partnerships and Indigenous Education Fund aims to strengthen communities by providing assistance where it is needed with a particular focus on Indigenous education. It is envisaged that the Crown Resorts Foundation and Packer Family Foundation will work together to identify and support community projects that are innovative, well-run and that will drive lasting social change.”

It was reported earlier today that billionaire Melbourne investor Alex Waislitz plans to give $50 million to charity over at least the next 10 years on social venture capital projects through his Waislitz Foundation.

In May Australian philanthropist and retired transport magnate Greg Poche donated $10 million to the University of Melbourne for a leadership development program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals.

Poche – who has already donated more than $115 million to causes around Australia, including more than $40 million towards improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – is the founder and former owner of Star Track Express.


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