Honouring a community philanthropy leader: The Dr. Baker Memorial Scholarship

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Last year the Australian community philanthropy sector lost one of its great, quiet leaders. Dr Christopher Baker, former Chair of the Inner North Community Foundation, played a vital role in a number of ways to encourage philanthropy, particularly at the local, placed-based level.

Christopher’s PhD research was on bequests in Australia and he contributed to planning the initial Include a Charity campaign to encourage gifts in wills. Together with his partner, Kerri Hall who passed away in 2017, they instructed that their home in Brunswick be sold with the proceeds going to establish the Bakers Dozen Social Justice Fund, a sub-fund of the Inner North Community Foundation.

To honour and remember Christopher, his many alumni friends at Swinburne University have created the Dr Christopher Baker Memorial Scholarship for a first-year student in the Master of Social Impact at Swinburne. The inaugural scholarship was awarded recently to Kate Shaw, who has worked in the international aid and development sector for close to 15 years. Her ambition is to become a leader and respected industry practitioner in measuring social impact.

The Swinburne Philanthropy and Social Impact Alumni group want to award this $10,000 scholarship annually and have launched a matched fundraising campaign with the goal of building the endowment fund. The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and Dr Michael Liffman, a friend and Swinburne colleague of Christopher’s, have each pledged $5000 to the matched campaign.

Carolyn Munckton, SPSIA Committee Member, said the group is determined to double these generous gifts, so that the $10,000 can become $20,000.

“We urge anyone who was connected to Christopher to help us build the endowment for the scholarship, which supports future social changemakers who will contribute to making our world better.”

Tax deductible donations can be made in two ways:

  • Directly to the SPSIA Fund at the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund.
  • To Swinburne University through the SPSIA Philanthropy and Social Impact Alumni Scholarship account. This option is best for structured giving vehicles that must give to DGR Item 1 charitable organisations.

Click here to request further information.

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