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AICC(WA)'s Mr Harry Hoffman OAM PhD (Hon) Event featuring His Excellency Mr Malcolm McCusker AO CVO QC, Governor of Western Australia speaking on "The Evolution of Philanthropy in WA & Nationally"

Honour and Philanthropy

Two of Western Australia’s foremost Statesmen shared a podium to show that in both intent and deed, philanthropy is a vital social responsibility.

On Wednesday 14 May 2014, the AICC(WA) conducted a very special Executive Lunch to honour the contribution that Mr Harry Hoffman OAM PhD (Hon) and Mrs Sylvia Hoffman have made to the State of Western Australia and globally, through his charitable donations.  With a passion for supporting education from early childhood through to tertiary level and having enhanced the learning opportunities for many thousands of students, a fitting tribute was extended by the WA business community through the AICC(WA).

Prior to the keynote address, event hosts EY represented by Partner Greg Meyerowitz further shared the emotion associated with the Hoffman’s generosity, recounting Mr Hoffman’s childhood survival of the Holocaust and his arrival in Australia as a penniless immigrant with no English.  Mr Hoffman applied an indefatigable work ethic to develop his business and has advanced to deliver infrastructure and property development to Western Australia on an unprecedented scale through the Ardross Group.  His legacy continues unabated.

His Excellency Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC, Governor of Western Australia delivered an inspiring address entitled “The Evolution of Philanthropy in WA and Nationally”.  The hallmark of his tenure as Governor, Mr McCusker outlined his vision to enhance the culture of philanthropy and drew of his experiences travelling throughout the State to cite examples of positive change.

Balancing the tension between humility and public visibility of high profile philanthropy, the Governor put forward the case for philanthropy as a duty and obligation, not an option.  He drew upon research and analysis to present a strong correlation between wellness and giving and outlined the extent of social inequity within Western Australia.  The Governor spoke passionately about 70,000 indigenous Western Australians, 40% of whom are under 15 years of age, who are 28 times more likely to be incarcerated than their non-Aboriginal counterparts.  He also spoke of the hungry and homeless.  On any given night more than 13,000 people in Western Australia are found wanting for accommodation.

Mr McCusker concluded by noting the many areas of need that can only be met by the generosity of the community.  Even in the high profile charitable sector for medical research there remains a large area of need that he contended “the Government cannot meet alone”.  The Governor left his audience with the challenge of establishing a corporate and individual culture within Australia that makes giving the norm.

The AICC(WA)’s Mr Harry Hoffman OAM PhD (Hon) Executive lunch was delivered to an audience including some of Western Australia’s most senior business leaders.  The Governor was extended many accolades from the floor, including a tribute from AICC(WA) President Mr Graham Laitt and Board Member Professor Lyn Beazley who thanked Mr McCusker for changing the culture of philanthropy within Western Australia through pivotal leadership.


Honour and Philanthropy Report