One of the key goals of Impact100 WA is to provide valuable educational opportunities for West Australians interested in philanthropy.

  • 2013 – We spoke to leading businessman and philanthropist Andrew Forrest.
  • 2014 – Janet Holmes à Court shared her lifelong experiences of social and business entrepreneurship.
  • 2015 – We interviewed Malcolm and Tonya McCusker, both high profile WA community people and generous givers.
  • 2016 – We met champion of philanthropy in Western Australia, Kerry Harmanis.
  • 2017 – Nicola Forrest openly and honestly shared her journey of philanthropy.
  • 2018 – Gerard Neesham took us through the challenges and highs of building the Clontarf Foundation


Generous Australian 2018 – Gerard Neesham

Gerard shared how the Clontarf Foundation uses sport as a vehicle to deliver life lessons to vulnerable and at risk boys.  With costs of juvenile detention running up to $350,000 per child per year the $7500 per boy per year participation cost in a Clontarf Foundation program is quite literally a bargain.  Their success speaks for itself with 80% of program participants going on to employment within 6 months of finishing.  Gerard’s enthusiasm for the Foundation and its future plans was contagious and he is aiming high wanting to make Clontarf Foundation sports programs available to every government school in Australia.  Click here to read more about Clontarf Foundation


Generous Australian 2017 – Nicola Forrest

Nicola shared her philanthropy insights into:

  • Why she does it – instilled from early on and once she’s involved, she just want to do more.
  • Who inspires her – Jeff Skoll, ex-eBay president, philanthropist and founder of a production company designed to bring about social change.
  • How they choose what to support – they look for people who are being innovative and creative (very much like Impact100 WA).
  • Why they are leading the charge in being loud and proud about their work – to provide leadership to others with the capacity to make a big difference.
  • How to pass on the culture of giving to the next generation – ignite the spark through their particular interests.

Generous Australian 2016 – Kerry Harmanis

Beginning as a lawyer, moving on to selling fish then to prospecting and nickel mining before turning his attention to the philanthropic scene, Kerry had a multitude of interesting stories and experiences to share as he spoke to the full house about his giving and imparted his hard-earned wisdom to those wanting to do their bit, too. His advice ranged from the general (“Give with no expectation of getting anything back” and “Have fun, every day is a gift“) to the specifics of his giving philosophy, such has how to say no (“I’m maxed out on my budget for giving” which he usually is!) and how he measures the outcomes of his gifts (“I go with my instincts and then I have to trust“).

He named prominent Western Australian philanthropists such as Nicola Forrest, Janet Holmes á Court and the McCuskers as providing inspiration to him but also expressed his admiration for all those who work hard behind the scenes.  Kerry was the very first official donor to Impact100 WAback in 2012 and he was happy to acknowledge his admiration for those who give their time and support to make it the success it is.

Generous Australians 2015 – Malcolm & Tonya McCusker

Malcolm and Tonya McCusker are possibly Western Australia’s best recognized philanthropist couple particularly after Malcolm’s stint as Governer of WA from July 1, 2011 to 30 June 2014. Malcolm was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to law in 2005, a Companion of the Order of Australia for his services to the community (2012) and has received 2 WA Citizen of the Year Awards.

He has been patron of more than 100 organisations and remains actively involved in WA’s philanthropic culture through the family foundation: The McCusker Charitable Foundation of which Malcolm is Chairman and Tonya is a Trustee and Administrator.

The former WA Governor and his wife discussed their pursuit of philanthropy as a platform for change, their experiences with it and what they see as the future of giving.

Generous Australians 2014 – Janet Holmes a Court

Janet is one of Australia’s most awarded women. She has 6 honorary degrees, is an Office of the Order of Australia as well as being a Companion of the Order of Australia.  She has won UK Veuve Clicquot’s Business Woman of the Year, become a National Trust Living Treasure and received the esteemed John Shaw Medal.

Janet Holmes à Court also has a very public face as a leading philanthropist.  She is currently the patron of 20 organisations and board member to many of WA & Australia’s key arts institutions including the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

Generous Australians 2013 – Andrew Forrest

Around 200 people filled the lecture theatre at UWA on a very chilly evening to hear Andrew outline how any why his family gifts funds to charitable causes.  After an introduction to the work of Impact100 WA, Andrew took to the floor and fielded questions covering many aspects of his philanthropic journey.

He discussed indigenous affairs as they relate to his business and philanthropic activities.  He was asked whether he believed wealthy people should give more for which his response was that he felt they could be considered to be ‘doing their bit’ if they were busy creating jobs and boosting the economy.  And, despite causing a few gasps with his statement “when I gave away my first 100 million dollars” he did raise the point of how generous Australians have been accused of going for the ‘tax dodge’ when they stick their heads above the parapet, declaring their generosity.

The take home message of the informal interview style presentation focused on how all individuals within a community have the opportunity to contribute at any scale and make changes for the better