Philanthropy can reveal much about the true fabric of a nation. As much as Australians might take great pride in the values of mateship and the fair-go, this does not always translate into clear measurable outputs when it comes to supporting those in need. Traditionally philanthropy has been defined as “altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property or time to needy persons”. However this is evolving and expanding rapidly. More than ever, philanthropic activities are happening to, within, and around schools across Australia. While this is undeniably welcome, we must ask some hard questions about what this means and where it is heading. How do we ensure schools, and in particular teachers, remain at the heart of reform and innovation, and how do we better align philanthropic support and intervention with what we know is required to create dynamic, interdependent learning systems for the twenty-first century?
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