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  • purposelypodcast

Leading a family foundation and a sector, Belinda Morrissey

Leading the English Family Foundation and serving as the Chairperson of Action Aid Australia, Belinda Morrissey emerges as a dynamic force for positive transformation in a world characterised by persistent economic disparities and looming environmental challenges.

Her unwavering belief in the capacity of social enterprise to forge a fair, inclusive, and sustainable economy underscores her inspiring journey through investment, corporate purpose, and her current philanthropic focus on social enterprise.

The English Family Foundation, established in 2010 thanks to the generosity of Allan and Tessa English, stands at the crossroads of business success and social responsibility. The foundation's inception stemmed from the benevolent act of donating half of the family's shareholding in Silver Chef Limited, a company founded by Allan in 1986. Silver Chef, an ASX-listed B Corp accredited firm, held a central mission of providing equipment funding for the hospitality industry in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. This unique fusion of commercial success and unwavering commitment to social welfare laid the cornerstone for Belinda's subsequent endeavours.

Belinda assumed her role at the English Family Foundation in 2013, bringing with her a wealth of experience from diverse philanthropic roles and a steadfast dedication to furthering education, particularly in philanthropy and social enterprise. Over the past decade, her journey in the philanthropic and purpose-driven sectors has been defined by an unwavering commitment to driving positive social change.

Prior to embarking on her philanthropic path, Belinda cultivated a distinguished career in investment management spanning three continents. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and postgraduate qualifications in philanthropy, applied investment, and financial accounting, she was well-equipped to embark on her new mission.

One of Belinda's most noteworthy achievements lies in her leadership of systems-wide initiatives, with the Social Enterprise National Strategy (SENS) being a standout example. This groundbreaking initiative aims to cultivate an environment conducive to the flourishing of social enterprises, enabling them to address societal issues with greater efficacy. Belinda envisions an ecosystem in which social enterprises receive the "right capital at the right time," thus ensuring their growth and impact.

Belinda ardently champions ‘engaged philanthropy’ in Australia, advocating for collaboration between philanthropic organizations and the social enterprise sector. It’s clear that communities are confronting significant challenges. Traditional philanthropy of ‘cheque-writing’ is insufficient to solve the problems we face. Instead, she encourages us to consider what might be possible if we contributed our intellectual and social capital alongside our financial resources; if we pooled charitable contributions from multiple sources to provide more substantial grants to organisations leading social change.

Her commitment to this concept is manifest in her diverse board positions. She serves as Chair of ActionAid Australia and holds a position on the Board of Scaling Impact. Through these roles, she actively contributes to the development of strategiesthat drive social change on a larger scale.

Belinda demonstrates that by harnessing the potential of social enterprises and fostering collaboration between philanthropy and purpose-driven organisations, we can indeed create a more just, inclusive, and sustainable economy that leaves no one behind. Through her visionary leadership and unwavering dedication, Belinda Morrissey illuminates the path toward a brighter future for all of us.


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