Remarkable moments over 50 years
As we celebrate five decades of catalysing social change, we’ve been reflecting on some of the achievements and moments that have stood out on our path towards creating a more equal, just, and sustainable Australia.
These victories were made possible through the efforts of the courageous advocates we support, and the vibrant community of philanthropists that has been built around us. We’re honoured to have played a role in making them possible.
Establishing the co-managed Barmah-Millewa National Park
In 2008, we provided support to the Yorta Yorta Nation and Friends of the Earth to establish the co-managed Barmah-Millewa National Park. This move, recognized as one of Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts, ensured that the Yorta Yorta Nation had the management rights they needed to protect and govern their ancestral land. With other partners, a total of $180,000 was invested into creating 200,000 hectares of new red gum conservation areas and national parks, including a ban on logging and cattle grazing in these areas.
Reforming racist and discriminatory practices in Victoria’s Police
In 2013, the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre settled a landmark racial profiling suit against Victoria Police, forcing them to review their training and field practices to put an end to racial profiling and discrimination. The Reichstein Foundation provided the legal team with the resources they needed to carry out in-depth research and data analysis, which formed the basis of evidence for their litigation.
Securing marriage equality for all
For decades the Reichstein Foundation has been backing organisations fighting on the frontlines for LGBTIQ+ rights and equality. And in 2017 the tireless endeavors of LGBTQ+ rights advocates across Australia, including a number of our grant partners, yielded a historic outcome – enshrining the right for same-sex couples to marry into law. The Reichstein Foundation put considerable resources into the YES campaign, and also helped to coordinate a collective response from foundations and private donors in support of marriage equality.
Preserving the Great Barrier Reef
Our support in 2018 was instrumental in the Australian Marine Conservation Society’s efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef. By advocating for changes to the UNESCO World Heritage climate change policy, they prompted the government to develop a comprehensive management plan aimed at restoring the reef’s vitality.
Defending the ability for charities to engage in advocacy
In 2021, we backed the Hands Off Our Charities Alliance, which has since become the Stronger Charities Alliance. The coalition, comprising over 120 charities under the coordination of the Australian Democracy Network, strives to safeguard the ability for not-for-profits to engage in advocacy. After years of dedicated campaigning, the alliance achieved a significant victory by successfully bringing down legislation that could have given the government authority to shut down charities engaged in advocacy. This achievement proved crucial in preserving civil society, free speech, and the integrity of our democracy.
Shaping philanthropy for a better future
Beyond these standout moments, the Reichstein Foundation has played a vital role in shaping Australia’s philanthropic community. Recognising the need for expertise in effective support for organisations advocating for systemic change, we started early on by establishing the country’s first philanthropy workshops in the early 1980s.
Our dedication to shaping philanthropy persisted over the years, and we also played a vital role in establishing Philanthropy Australia, the leading body representing the philanthropic sector in the country. We are also proud to be a founding partner of Australians Investing in Women, the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, Pride and Mannifera, and early supporters of GiveOUT, and Woor-Dungin.