Leading philanthropic organisations gather for children
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Leading philanthropic organisations join Government for inaugural round table

Leading philanthropic organisations join Government for inaugural round table

by Freya Lucas

December 08, 2023

Leading philanthropic organisations including The Ian Potter Foundation and the Bryan Foundation have joined Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth and Indigenous Affairs Minister Linda Burney to commit millions of dollars towards new initiatives and laying out a vision for investment over the next decade.


The 20 organisations present at the inaugural roundtable of the Investment Dialogue for Australia’s Children have partnered with the Federal Government to improve the wellbeing of children and address entrenched community disadvantage.


This initiative forms part of the $199.8 million package to target entrenched disadvantage announced in the May Budget, which has a strong focus on place-based, community-led change.


The Investment Dialogue has a vision of an inclusive and equitable Australia where all children, families and communities can fulfill their potential, Mr Chalmers said. 


“(The) meeting was an important step in addressing entrenched disadvantage in a coordinated and collaborative way in communities like my own right across the country,” he added.


“Action in the early years of a child’s life – including through health, education and protection from harm – is key to breaking cycles of disadvantage. This is about empowering local leaders by ensuring that Government and philanthropy work together to maximise our efforts – and ultimately delivering the best value for disadvantaged communities and children.”


The Roundtable had several outcomes including: 


  1. Working Together Agreement


Participants signed the Working Together Agreement – outlining a shared commitment to a long-term collaboration to improve the wellbeing of children, young people, and their families.


Core commitments from the agreement include:


  • Collaboration – commitment to working across sectors and in partnership with communities to support community-led strategies for change.
  • Long-term approach – commitment to deliver lasting, intergenerational change for those who face disproportionate levels of disadvantage, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability, and those from diverse cultures.
  • Community-led – commitment to work in partnership with communities that have solutions driven by local data and lived experience.
  • Meaningful outcomes – commitment to make a real and positive difference.
  • Continual improvement – commitment to evaluation and evidence-based approaches.


  1. Millions of dollars’ worth of new initiatives


Philanthropic Dialogue members have made $65 million in philanthropic commitments towards new projects and initiatives aligned to the Investment Dialogue’s vision.


This funding will support improved outcomes for children and families, including programs for children experiencing developmental delays and First Nations-led education and youth employment initiatives.


It will also help enable community-led change through investments in workforce capacity building and funding for integrated data solutions.


  1. Community voices


Participants agreed to embed community voices in Investment Dialogue discussions through the establishment of a Community Leadership Council and a First Nations Leadership Council.


These Councils will ensure the Dialogue reflects the priorities of local communities, and builds on community-led efforts already underway across Australia to improve the lives of children and families.


“Disadvantage is a complex problem which no single policy, government department, organisation or entity can solve,” Ms Rishworth said. “In order to make a tangible difference across generations, partnerships are key.”


“Regularly I hear through consultations, including as part of our work on the Early Years Strategy, how important it is to prioritise coordinated services that communities want and that are shown to make a difference within these communities.”


“Establishing firm partnerships between government, philanthropy and with communities – and, importantly, empowering those communities with the tools and resources they need to make informed decisions – will help us to tackle the pockets of entrenched disadvantage that exist,” she added.


Learn more about the Investment Dialogue here. 

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