2019 was another landmark year for the Australian Sports Foundation, with over $43m being generated for Australian sport through philanthropic donations and grants. This brings the total funds we have raised in the last four years to over $165m – a significant contribution to sport, and one which plays an important part in enabling a thriving sporting nation.
We were proud to present the inaugural Prime Ministers’ Sporting Oration (PMSO) in November 2018. This event was developed to showcase the power of community sport, and to bring together leaders from corporate and philanthropic Australia to shape the debate on future needs and opportunities. We were delighted that our inaugural speaker was the Hon Julia Gillard AC, Australia’s 27th Prime Minister. Julia delivered a powerful and inspiring oration and we are immensely grateful for her support. It was heartening, also, to have the support of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who whilst unable to attend in person due to a clash with the APEC summit in Papua New Guinea, delivered a video-message on the night. Funds raised through the event will be used to grow sports participation among target groups – particularly women and girls, young Australians and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
My thanks go to Campbell Rose, Chair, our inspirational Patron Susan Alberti AC, and the other members of the PMSO Organising Committee, who all volunteered their time and worked so hard to make the event a success. We were also indebted to our wonderful Ambassadors – Dyson Heppell, Alex Blackwell, Danni Di Toro and Kyah Simon – for their outstanding contribution.
My thanks also go to my fellow Directors of the Sports Foundation, for their strategic input and practical support. During 2019 Sally Carbon and Tim Sheridan concluded their terms on the Board, Sally after many years’ service – including an important period as Chair of our Finance Audit and Risk (FAR) Committee – and I’d like to thank both Sally and Tim for their significant contribution.
We were also delighted to welcome Andrew Baildon, Kim Brennan and Gail Miller to the Board, and look forward to the fresh skills and perspectives they will bring in the years ahead. Finally, my sincere thanks go to the volunteer members of our FAR Committee, Rod Balding, Jason Agnoletto and Annabelle Williams, and to our passionate and dedicated team at the Sports Foundation. Together, we are making a real and positive contribution to Australian sport.