Movements of activism and social change are sweeping America. What are the implications for us?

The Reichstein Foundation recently supported Mark Wakeham, CEO of Environment Victoria, to spend time examining dynamic campaigns galvanising the environmental and social justice movements in the US.

Amidst a fever-pitch Presidential campaign and hotly contested debates about the future direction, power and values of American society, Mark met with environmentalists, unionists, social justice campaigners, lobbyists and academics to explore campaigns that have impact.

On 29 September 2016, the Reichstein Foundation and Environment Victoria are co-hosting a very special event to hear Mark Wakeham’s insights from the US trip, and a discussion with leaders in the labour movement and philanthropy to consider the implications for change makers and philanthropy in Victoria.

Luke Hilakari, Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, will reflect on Mark’s presentation. The forum will be introduced and facilitated by Jill Reichstein, Chair of the Reichstein Foundation.

  • Event: The State of the Union: Power, activism & social change
  • Date and Time: 29 September 2016, 6pm-7:30pm
  • Venue: Blue Room, Multicultural Hub, Level 1, 506 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
  • Tickets are free but registration is essential

Public Conversation – The Imperialism of Economics 

The Reichstein Foundation is proud to partner with the Whitlam Institute to present this important public conversation.

Brilliant US scholar Dr Edward Nik-Khah traces the rise of economics as the dominant force in social policy, pushing aside other important considerations in contemporary civic debate. Hear the profound implications for philanthropy, the community sector, universities & business.

Thursday June 2, 2016

Time: 6pm sharp till 7:30pm, followed by light refreshments

Venue: Yarra Room – Level 2, Melbourne Town Hall

RSVP online via this link by Friday May 27th:

A unique democratic crowd-funding event

We are excited to be partnering with The Funding Network to host a live collective-giving event on 29 Oct 2015 in Melbourne, supporting three amazing nonprofits working for social justice.

Project #1: Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre
Project #2: Alliance For Gambling Reform
Project #3: Human Rights Law Centre

This is an exciting opportunity to witness advocates from these three impressive community organisations speak for their work in pursuit of profound social change. You can then show your support if you’re inspired to do so.

The Reichstein Foundation will match-fund every contribution you make up to a limit of $15K for each project, an incredible opportunity to leverage your giving.

Event details:

TFN events are not like anything you’ve seen before. It’s a fun, exciting and uplifting experience. You can watch a short video about how TFN works here.

When: 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start, until 8.30pm, Thursday 29 October

Where: AMP Auditorium, 750 Collins Street, Docklands, Melbourne

Tickets: $30, book online



Contemporary Relevance, Comrade: Gough Whitlam in the 21st Century

The Reichstein Foundation is proudly supporting the Whitlam Institute to stage a very special event at St Kilda Town Hall on the evening of Wednesday the 4th of March: The Whitlam Institute’s Commemorative Gough Whitlam Oration.

The Oration will be delivered by Graham Freudenberg AM, Whitlam’s long-time speechwriter and confidant. Six months after Whitlam’s death, this will be an incisive reflection on Gough’s legacy and ideals and their relevance for Australia into the future.
A keen observer of Australian politics and author of A Certain Grandeur – Gough Whitlam in Politics (1977); Cause for Power – the Centenary History of the NSW Labor Party (1991); A Figure of Speech (2005); and Churchill and Australia (2008), Graham Freudenberg’s analysis of the contemporary relevance of the Whitlam agenda is not to be missed.

Event details:

Whitlam Institute Commemorative Gough Whitlam Oration, with Graham Freudenberg AM

When: Wednesday 4 March, 2015. The Oration will commence at 6.30pm sharp. Doors open at 5.30pm. Drinks will be availabe for purchase at a cash bar and complimentary light finger food will be provided.

Where: St Kilda Town Hall, Cnr Brighton Road and Carlisle Street

Reservations are essential: Seating is unreserved. Tickets $15. Book now at



Swinburne Philanthropy Alumni and the Reichstein Foundation present the 2014 Spring Maimonides forum

Is the independence of the environmental and community sectors under threat? What are the implications for philanthropy?

When the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission (ACNC) was established to regulate and ensure a “robust, vibrant, independent and innovative” charity and not-for-profit sector, there were high hopes of a new era for an independent and fearless community sector.

However greater financial uncertainty due to reduced government funding and steps to curtail policy advocacy threaten to undermine the independence of many NGOs. Changes to funding agreements for community legal centres and calls to remove environmental groups’ deductible gift recipient (DGR) status indicate that efforts to curtail advocacy could extend even further.

Join us for a discussion of the challenges facing community and environmental organisations and the implications for philanthropies seeking to make a difference with panellists:

  • Amanda Martin – Executive Officer at Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network
  • Liana Buchanan – Executive Officer at Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria)
  • Julie Edwards – Chief Executive Officer at Jesuit Social Services

Facilitated by Dr John Spierings – Executive Officer at Reichstein Foundation

When: Monday 27 October 2014: 6:00 pm–7:30 pm (6:00pm – 6:30pm light refreshments will be served)

Where: At the Old Treasury Building, JJ Clark Room, 20 Spring Street, East Melbourne

Download the flyer hereIndependence under threat – 27 October 2014

Bookings are essential: Please RSVP by making a booking here by 23 October 2014

The Maimonides Society was founded by the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment & Philanthropy (APCSIP) in June 2004, as an informal gathering where grantmakers could meet over a glass of wine, listen to a stimulating talk and exchange ideas. It is now managed by the Swinburne Philanthropy Alumni.

Proudly supported by the Old Treasury Building



Smart Justice: Re-thinking rehabilitation and aftercare

In Victoria, the prisoner recidivism rate is almost 40 per cent and rising. Meanwhile, punitive community attitudes drive harsher sentencing policies, lead to a skyrocketing prison population and make it harder for people leaving prison to live crime-free.

By contrast, in the last decade Singapore has been able to cut prisoner numbers and almost half the recidivism rate.

Join us for this important chance to hear those directly involved in rethinking rehabilitation and aftercare:

  • Special guest Jason Wong – former Deputy Director and Chief of Staff of the Singapore Prison Service and founder of the Yellow Ribbon Project.
  • A briefing from the Office of the Victorian Ombudsman on the Ombudsman’s current investigation into rehabilitation in Victoria’s corrections system.
  • Questions and discussion, facilitated by Professor Joe Graffam, founder of the Reintegration Puzzle Conference.

This event is jointly hosted by Smart Justice and the Reintegration Puzzle Conference, with support from the Reichstein Foundation.

When: Wednesday 22 October, 6.00-7.30pm

Where: Law Institute of Victoria, Lecture Theatre, 470 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Registrations essential: Free event. Click here to register. Please note, you need to click on the Commence Application button at the bottom right hand side of the page.




Julia Unwin to visit Australia

Julia Unwin, the distinguished CEO of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will visit Australia in May 2014 as a guest of the Reichstein Foundation and our partners.

JRF is a world leader in social change philanthropy, with a capital base in excess of £260 million and a current focus on tackling poverty; housing affordability and ageing with dignity. She also brings a unique perspective on housing affordability, as the associated Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust has 2500 units under management.

Our aim is to develop:

  • Deep thinking about more effective responses to poverty and inequality in Australia; and ways to engender trust in government, political institutions and civil society.
  • A more dynamic conversation within the not for profit sector about the relationship between the state and civil society – resulting in a sector better able to articulate its vision for civil society and to have a seat at the table with government, business and unions
  • A more engaged philanthropic sector capable of contributing to public debate, investing in projects and research on large scale shifts in government priorities, and committed to strengthening the future of civil society and the not for profit sector in Australia.

First two appearances announced!

Julia Unwin will deliver an inspiring oration at the Village Roadshow Theatrette, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne Thursday 29 May, 2014, 5pm: The Next 100 Years. This invitation-only oration will discuss how philanthropy can play an important role in helping to combat some of society’s most concerning issues.

Julia Unwin will also be addressing the VCOSS Summit (register to attend), to be held at Federation Square, Melbourne, Friday, 30 May, 2014, 9–4.30pm.

Check out our News page to read one of Julia Unwin’s most inspiring recent speeches: Is there a recipe for social change?

Stay tuned for further updates on events and activities.