Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts recognise protection of our iconic Red Gum forests

MEDIA RELEASE Friends of the Earth.

Melbourne, October 14, 2013.

National environmental group Friends of the Earth is delighted to have been included in the shortlist of the Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts for 2013. The shortlist is developed by key members of the Australian philanthropic community, including  the Myer Family Company, The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, Pro Bono Australia, Philanthropy Australia and the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy at Swinburne University of Technology.

Projects are identified through a public nomination process, and the announcement of the winner is a significant celebration of some of Australia’s most significant philanthropic achievements.

The Top 50 is a way to recognise the incredible impact that philanthropy can have in our society. The support of the philanthropic community for thousands of community organisations has been responsible for shaping our culture, society and public policy for the better.

“We believe that the protection of the Barmah-Millewa forests, the largest Red Gum forest system on the planet, is one of these important gifts” said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker. “For more than a decade and a half, Friends of the Earth worked with traditional owner groups along the Murray River to gain protection for these forests. Reichstein Foundation was there every step of the way, and made this legacy possible.”

“Reichstein Foundation played an incredibly important role in the eventual success of the campaign, which saw more than 100,000 hectares of national park created and the first Aboriginal co-management agreement for national parks in Victoria.”

“Reichstein applied a forward thinking and progressive approach to protecting these forests, which simultaneously helped build the capacity of Indigenous people to manage their traditional lands. Their support for the campaign saw the creation of a lasting legacy for the people of Victoria. They supported the community campaign through many years and without their long term commitment we would not have been able to protect the magnificent Red Gum forests of the Murray River.”

“At its best, philanthropy works with the community to build lasting legacies for the future that give good environmental and equity outcomes. Reichstein has done this through their long term support for the vision of a co-operatively managed national park over the Red Gum forests of the Murray.”

Notes to media

The Top 50 list will be announced on Monday October 14.

For further comment
Cam Walker 0419 338 047