Ian Darling Named as Australia’s Leading Philanthropist
Ian Darling, the driving force beyond the documentary philanthropic initiative Good Pitch² Australia, has received the 2017 Leading Philanthropist Award at the annual Philanthropy Australia Awards.
The Philanthropy Australia Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of those in the philanthropy sector who are working to create lasting and positive change.
Ian is Executive Director of Shark Island Productions, Founder and Chair of the philanthropic Shark Island Institute, Founder and Patron of the Documentary Australia Foundation and Founder, Chair and Moderator of Good Pitch² Australia.
Good Pitch² Australia has raised more than $14 million in philanthropic funding for 19 documentaries and their outreach and education campaigns over the past three years, establishing more than 300 community partnerships together with extensive pro bono support. The films include That Sugar Film, Gayby Baby, Prison Songs, The Hunting Ground, Frackman, Call Me Dad, Constance on the Edge, Zach’s Ceremony, Whiteley and Blue.
Ian is himself an award-winning social impact documentary filmmaker. His director and producer credits include Suzy and The Simple Man, Paul Kelly – Stories of Me, The Oasis, Polly and Me, Wall Boy, The Soldier, In The Company of Actors, Alone Across Australia, Woodstock for Capitalists and Stories From the Inside. He was also Executive Producer of How To Change The World and Last Cab To Darwin, and is currently Executive Producer for 2040, UNREST and Brainiacs.
He was a recipient of AbaF’s Business Arts Leadership Award and his homeless film project The Oasis was named one of ‘Australia’s Top 50 Philanthropic Gifts of All Time’. He is currently in pre-production on a new documentary about homelessness.
Sarah Davies, CEO of Philanthropy Australia said: “The Leading Philanthropist Award goes to an individual in recognition of their outstanding individual philanthropic work – they embody Philanthropy Australia’s vision for a more giving Australia and they influence all of us towards more and better philanthropy. Ian’s recognition is testament to the incredible work, inspiration and effect he has had, not just on his vision with the Caledonia Foundation and Shark Island Institute, but on the sector as a whole. The Award honours and celebrates his work and influence, his innovation and creativity in the way he designs and approaches his work, his leadership and engagement of others and of course, the significant and enduring impact of his work.”
Malinda Wink, Executive Director of Good Pitch² Australia and the Shark Island Institute, said: “I’ve had the privilege to work with Ian in various capacities since 2009 – first as Executive Director of The Caledonia Foundation and most recently as Executive Director of Good Pitch² Australia since we started in 2013. He’s a tenacious, brave and big-hearted man who is inexplicably understated about his many achievements. At the core is his ability to embolden those around him to think bigger, be brave and take on the impossible. As I said at Good Pitch: the world is genuinely a better place for him being in it.”
Ian’s additional achievements are many. He has been Chair of The Caledonia Foundation since 2001, and was Managing Director of the Caledonia Investments group from 1992 to 2003.
He is a Member of the Impact Partners Advisory Board in New York. He is Founder and Patron (and former Chair) of the Documentary Australia Foundation, and also Patron of the ArtsLab, Kangaroo Valley. He was Chair of the Sydney Theatre Company and the STC Foundation, from 2006-2010. He has been a Director of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Chair of The Oasis Youth Support Network, and Member of The Salvation Army Advisory Board.
He is a Life Patron of the Sydney Theatre Company, a Governor of the National Gallery of Victoria, and a Benefactor of the National Portrait Gallery. He is an Eminent Member of the Geelong Grammar School Foundation, having led the project for the $20m School for Performing Arts and Creative Education (SPACE).
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