In Summary

  • Pioneering social impact educator Dr Michael Liffman honoured at inaugural Liffman Lecture
  • Dr Liffman established the first academic qualification in philanthropy in Australia

Pioneering social impact educator, Dr Michael Liffman, was honoured by colleagues and former students at the inaugural Liffman Lecture, held recently at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus.

Around 40 graduates, current students, academics and industry leaders attended the lecture, which recognises the vital contribution that Dr Liffman has made to the Australian philanthropic sector through the development of Swinburne’s professional and academic pathway for the field of philanthropy and social investment.

Pro Vice-Chancellor of Swinburne's Faculty of Business and Law, Professor Michael Gilding, congratulated Dr Liffman, who established the first academic qualification in philanthropy in Australia, the Swinburne Master of Social Investment and Philanthropy, in 2002.

Since then, the program – now known as the Master of Social Impact – has grown from strength to strength, with many students going on to leadership roles in the philanthropic and social impact sector.

Guest speaker at the event was one of the first students in the masters program, John McLeod from JB Were Philanthropic Services. He discussed the recently released Support Report, analysing the changing shape of giving in Australia.

Mr McLeod is now a council member of peak body Philanthropy Australia.

The Swinburne Philanthropy and Social Impact Alumni (SPSIA) – formerly known as Swinburne Philanthropy Alumni – announced that over the past decade it had raised $100,000 for its sub-fund.

These funds are currently being used to provide a scholarship for social impact students at Swinburne.

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

The SPSIA Fund is a sub-fund of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation and is a hallmark feature of the alumni group, with all donations given by alumni and friends over the past decade.