Billion dollar donation

Anthony Pratt. Photo: Peter Haskin.

BUSINESSMAN Anthony Pratt has pledged to give away an unprecedented $1 billion to charity before he dies.

Pratt, who is Australia’s richest man, told News Corp he hoped the money would make a difference in the lives of thousands of Australians.

“My goal is to give away $1 billion before I die,” he said.

“I can afford to and it’s a great honour and privilege to do so.”

Speaking to The AJN this week, Pratt Foundation CEO Sam Lipski said that Pratt’s “Giving While Living” pledge to donate $1 billion during his lifetime “will enable the Pratt Foundation to develop further its philanthropic support for thousands of charitable projects and initiatives in Australia and more than 20 countries internationally”.

“In particular, the Pratt family’s support for the Australian Jewish community, Israel, and a wide range of Jewish projects in the United States, Europe, and Asia has been a fundamental feature of the Pratt Foundation’s funding priorities since its founding by Richard and Jeanne Pratt in 1978,” Lipski said.

“This central commitment to the Australian Jewish community, Israel, and world Jewry will continue as the Pratt Foundation develops its social investment and philanthropy programs in the light of Anthony Pratt’s pledge.”

Lipski said the Foundation is not making any specific announcements about future donations to Jewish – or general – causes at this stage.

However, it is understood that organisations set to benefit from funding include The Royal Children’s Hospital, The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and The Prince’s Trust Australia.

Pratt, who is executive chairman of Visy Australia, topped the Financial Review Rich List earlier this year with wealth of $12.6 billion.

For almost 40 years the Pratt Foundation has worked on hundreds of projects in Australia and throughout the world, across areas such as mental health, the arts, education, cancer care, Jewish life, Aboriginal advancement and the environment.

It has played a critical role in fostering a rich environment for Jewish studies at Melbourne’s Monash University through its significant support of the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC).

It has also been a long-time supporter of Limmud-Oz, and is behind the Chavaya-Israel Experience Program at Bialik College.

EVAN ZLATKIS