Dr Michael Liffman, John McLeod and Professor Michael Gilding.

Dr Michael Liffman, John McLeod and Professor Michael Gilding.

Swinburne Philanthropy and Social Impact Alumni (SPSIA) revealed it has raised a total of $100,000 for its sub-fund at an event honouring pioneering social impact educator Dr Michael Liffman, who created Australia’s first academic qualification in philanthropy.

Founded in 2005 as Swinburne Philanthropy Alumni, SPSIA is a cohort of current and former Swinburne University students, with its hallmark SPSIA Fund run through a partnership with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

The funds were raised over the past decade from alumni and their friends, and are currently being used to provide a scholarship for social impact students at the university.

The group’s committee is looking to grow the sub-fund further so it can contribute to funding the experiential grant-making unit at Swinburne University, where students have to research and decide how a pool of money is given to charitable organisations.

The inaugural Liffman Lecture was held at Swinburne University in Melbourne last week in honour of Dr Liffman for his contributions to the philanthropic community, including the creation of Swinburne University’s Master of Social Investment and Philanthropy in 2002.

The program has grown from strength to strength, with strong ripple effects across the sector and Dr Liffman acknowledged the many students who have gone on to occupy leadership roles at a range of different organisations.

Masters alumni Venetia Taylor, Lea-Anne Bradley, Carolyn Munckton and Julia Keady.

Masters alumni Venetia Taylor, Lea-Anne Bradley, Carolyn Munckton and Julia Keady.

Professor Michael Gilding, pro vice chancellor of Swinburne’s Faculty of Law and Business and board director of the Centre for Social Impact launched the lecture and acknowledged and congratulated Dr Liffman for his work.

Around 40 attendees, including graduates, current students, academics and industry leaders, heard a keynote speech at the event by John McLeod from JB Were Philanthropic Services, in which he discussed the recently released Support Report.

John McLeod was one of the first students in the masters program and is now a council member of peak body Philanthropy Australia.

“Many things in our sector are now better because of Michael’s contribution, and the contribution of this course,” McLeod said.

The current Alumni committee of Julia Keady, Carolyn Munckton and Katie Hunt invite current and former students to be part of the committee. Anyone interested can email the committee at spsiachapter@gmail.com

Anyone interested in supporting the the SPSIA sub-fund can make a donation by visiting the Lord Mayors’ Charitable Foundation website or calling +61 3 9633 0033 and choosing SPSIA in the campaign option. Your donation will help to grow the capital of the sub-fund for future grants, and support Swinburne student scholarships. All donations over $2 to the SPSIA sub-fund are tax deductible.