“Of droughts and flooding rains”: philanthropy for health and medical research

Myles McGregor-Lowndes and Wendy Scaife
Med J Aust 2008; 188 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01819.x
Published online: 2 June 2008

What will it take to break the funding drought in Australia?

Donations to health and medical research have recently made headlines, with mining magnate Clive Palmer pledging $100 million to medical research and Indigenous needs.1 While this amount is an Australian record, it is somewhat eclipsed by “gigaphilanthropists” Bill and Melinda Gates’s multibillion dollar inputs to research and health delivery. The prefix “gigas” is Latin for “giant” and it is worth asking: Where are the giants of Australian giving? As Daniel Petre (an Australian philanthropist and former Microsoft vice-president) recently slammed the lack of generosity of richer Aussies,2 it is timely to consider where health and medical donation stands in Australia. How do we compare with other nations and what is the forecast for the future?

  • Myles McGregor-Lowndes1
  • Wendy Scaife2

  • Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD.


Competing interests:

The “Good times and philanthropy” research8 cited in the article was sponsored by the Petre Foundation. Wendy Scaife is a member of the Research Australia Philanthropy steering committee.


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