27/05/2014 - 10:25

Prosperous WA has a ‘duty to give’

27/05/2014 - 10:25

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High profile philanthropists have told the Western Australian business community that its members have a duty to be more generous with their wealth.

Prosperous WA has a ‘duty to give’

High-profile philanthropists have told the Western Australian business community that its members have a duty to be more generous with their wealth.

At a Business News Success and Leadership breakfast held this morning McCusker Charitable Foundation trustee Tonya McCusker told attendees they were lucky to be living in such a prosperous state.

“We live in this great state … I was in Africa last year and the poverty, the lack of education, the (quality) of the water … we’re bloody lucky to be born here and not over there,’’ Mrs McCusker said.

“We need to give back. We do have the duty and responsibility at all the different levels that you are at, to help those in need.” 

Mrs McCusker’s view was shared by fellow panellist John Poynton, who said his surprise at the lack of generosity amid the business community was part of the reason he established Giving West.

“I was a bit disappointed with how ungenerous a whole lot of people were - particularly given how prosperous the town had become,” he said.

Mr Poynton said that realisation had come despite long-time philanthropists such as Stan Perron and Michael Chaney setting an example for the current generation.

"People before us have actually been generous and left legacies behind that we will benefit from," Mr Poynton told the forum.

"So when you find this general lack of interest in giving, or (a view of) ‘I’ve paid my taxes, I’m done’, you kind of go ‘how did that happen’?”

Mrs McCusker said the McCusker Foundation worked on a transparent strategy which was intended to show others how it undertook its philanthropic engagements.

“It can be as complicated or as simple as you like,” she said.

Annie Fogarty said her family's Fogarty Foundation had also moved towards being more transparent in the hope it may encourage others to become more philanthropic.

For more commentary of the state of philanthropy in WA see this week’s 24-page special.

A full write up of this morning’s breakfast will also be featured in next week’s Business News.

 

NEW: For more information about charities in WA, see the new Business News list of Charitable Organisations here.

 

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