Reflecting on philanthropy changes

Lotterywest chief executive Jan Stewart had a very personal relationship to developing the Place of Reflection at Kings Park. Picture: Marcus Whisson d417393
Lotterywest chief executive Jan Stewart had a very personal relationship to developing the Place of Reflection at Kings Park. Picture: Marcus Whisson d417393

Mrs Stewart has something in common with the people who visit the site to commemorate and heal: she lost her son.

Lotterywest provided funding to the Healing Hearts Foundation for a feasibility study to determine if a common purpose could be addressed and went on to contribute $1 million to build that facility, which Premier Colin Barnett launched in 2011.

Several groups such as Kids WA, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Soroptimist International of South Perth are involved in the place of reflection.

Mrs Stewart will join Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Andrew Harding and Melbourne Macqarie Group executive chairman Simon McKeon at a Networking WA corporate philanthropy breakfast at Pan Pacific this Thursday.

The former social worker headhunted by Lotterywest to develop a professional approach to grant making in 1987, said philanthropy had changed over the years and she had noticed an increase in the number of people who wanted to help.

‘People are being more public about their donations than they were,’ Mrs Stewart said.

‘There’s also been a generation shift with people who have been very successful and become comfortable with their future security helping out.’

Mrs Stewart said distributing Lotterywest funds had become more difficult in the past nine months because the number of grant applications had increased more than sales.

‘The size and complexity of grants has also increased,’ she said.

Lotterywest distributed $123 million to 1034 different organisations last financial year.