For Griffith University’s A Better Future for All series, in partnership with HOTA, Home of the Arts, Kerry O’Brien welcomed Professor Kristy Muir.

How important is philanthropy in funding the future? Transformational giving has accelerated in Australia over the last decade, and the Commonwealth Government has set ambitious targets to double it by 2030.

In this instalment of Griffith University’s conversation series, A Better Future for All, distinguished journalist and author Kerry O’Brien talks with Professor Kristy Muir, CEO of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, about the role of philanthropy in realising important social outcomes.

Philanthropic partnerships are proving pivotal in improving social outcomes for people across Australia, working across a range of issue areas, from education to justice and safety. Philanthropy can step in and provide innovation capital and can bring together other key partners to accelerate change. So how do they go about it? How do they know they’re making a difference?

As the chief executive of one of Australia’s largest charitable foundations, and a professor of social policy, Kristy is uniquely placed to unravel the mysteries of the philanthropic sector. This conversation is one that deepens our understanding of the role of philanthropy and how private generosity and public spending are interwoven.

Professor Kristy Muir

Kristy Muir is the Chief Executive Officer of the Paul Ramsay Foundation. She is a Professor of Social Policy in the Business School at UNSW Sydney, and Chair of Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy Australasia. For almost three decades, she has worked with for-purpose organisations that enable children, families and communities to thrive. She is driven to better understand and find solutions to complex social problems and measure our impact when it comes to making a difference.

Kristy has undertaken more than 100 social impact projects in partnership with governments, not-for-profit organisations, corporations, academics and philanthropists. Each of these projects has been conducted alongside families and communities, and spanned housing, education, employment, social participation, disability, mental health, financial resilience, wellbeing and the social purpose sectors. She has published widely and teaches the AGSM Governance for Social Impact course for non-executive directors and the Social Impact Leadership Australia program.

Kristy was CEO of the Centre for Social Impact (2017–21), served as an elected academic member of the University of New South Wales’ Council (2016–2021) and was a Non-Executive Director of the Community Council of Australia. She has a PhD in social history and is a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors .