If ever there was a philanthropist who has experienced all the phases of the journey to becoming a major donor, Sydney-based novelist and company director John M Green would be it. Born into a migrant working-class family, Green received a scholarship to study at University of New South Wales’ newly-created law faculty in the 1970s – where he was first exposed to volunteering as president of the student’s union and later a board member of UNSW Press.

The 59-year-old’s career in the corporate world included time as a partner at legal firm Freehills, before making the switch to investment banker as an executive director at Macquarie Bank, where he was also director of the Macquarie Group Foundation. Green currently sits as a non-executive director on the boards of engineering firm Worley Parsons and QBE Insurance, while assisting daughter Alison with the running of the publishing company they founded, Pantera Press, and finding time to author his own novels.

“For many, many years, what I was doing was giving my time because I…

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