Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to a very powerful speaker regarding the highly successful approach to philanthropy in the environment sector in Australia. This organisation is involved in management and co-management of upto 10 million hectares across Australia. In fact it is probably the largest non-government land and conservation manager.
The keynote speaker was inspiring and provided significant insights into there success and concepts that should be adopted else where.
However what fascinated me was his reference to a concept called “Art on the Wall”. The basic concept is centred around an observation made about 10 years ago regarding the success of the Art world in attracting philanthropic funds.
In Victoria (Australia) in 1904, an bequest was established following the death of Alfred Felton – called the Felton Bequest. This has been the most significant bequest and has been used to purchase over 15,000 works of art. In 1904, the Government was able to provide the venue but couldn’t provide the Art (on the Wall) and it was an individual that made the difference.
In terms of our natural environment, the venue is the land but the Art are the elements that make Australia’s environment unique – they can range from the threatened species such as the Tasmanian devil, the spotted-tail quoll, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle and the grey goshawk on the Oura Oura property in Tasmania to the world’s first Night Parrot sanctuary at Pullen Pullen Reserve in Queensland.
The question apart from who made this observation regarding “Art on the Wall”, has any government who provides the venue (parks) enabled others to provide the “Art”? Can Government’s replicate the same success with the environment as they did over a hundred years ago with Art?