Dr Sue van Leeuwen – Philanthropy is Accessible to Everyone
Dr Sue van Leeuwen has been a member of 100 Women since its inception. She is an experienced Executive and Non-Executive Director and was the former CEO of Leadership WA. Sue now runs her own business, ‘Amity Leadership and Consulting’ working in the area of change, reform, productivity, innovation, strategy, governance and leadership development. She is also a professional Director with Midwest Ports Authority. Sue’s Doctorate in Business Administration was undertaken in the area of leadership and innovation in the public sector. She is recognised by Curtin University with a Distinguished Alumni Award, and is a Telstra Business Women’s Award Finalist in the categories of Community and Government as well as Business Innovation.
In this blog, Sue was asked to reflect on 100 Women and philanthropy in Australia:
My personal mantra is to create a better world through thoughtful action. The act of philanthropy is, for me, one way of creating a better world. My definition of philanthropy is broad to include the giving of money but also of leadership (through time and wisdom). Being a member of 100 Women is a no-brainer for me as it is a practical and inspiring way of empowering women and girls all around the world through the collective giving of money. As a member, I enjoy being involved in the decision making process of where the money goes, for what causes and being able to track the difference we are making, both locally and globally. 100 women also allows me to contribute directly to the empowerment of women, an area I am passionate about.
I am somewhat disappointed that the discussion about philanthropy across Australia has been focused on very wealthy individually giving many millions of dollars through philanthropic gestures. Whilst this is important and life changing for recipients of this philanthropy, I believe strongly that we also need to encourage, celebrate and make philanthropy accessible for the every day citizen. 100 women is a clear demonstration of this, with the majority of donors and members being average wage earners. Again the power of collective giving is profound. It is such an easy way to make philanthropy a normal habit of every day life.
I have been fortunate in my work with leaders to see the whole spectrum of philanthropy (time, wisdom and money) in action and have been inspired by leaders who are visionary and capable of reimagining what equality and empowerment of women looks like. These are everyday women and men who are compelled to act on the empowerment of women and girls because it is the right thing to do. So I would encourage anyone reading this blog to see philanthropy as something that is very accessible to everyone in society. There are many different ways to be a philanthroper and 100 Women is one of the most easy and impactful ones. Come and join us.
Thank you Sue for being a valued member and supporter of 100 Women!
Join Sue and the collective of 100 Women members who are driving positive change for women and children in WA, Australia and around the world.
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