Early last week, several of the iiNet business team converged at the Hyatt Regency in Perth for the first of the Success and Leadership series for 2011. As a business that started in a suburban garage 17 years ago, iiNet is all too familiar with things like success and leadership, so this year we’ve clambered on board as one of the sponsors.
Each session has a predominant business figure who shares their story of success, which in turn aims to empower attendees to further their own business ventures. This session covered philanthropy.
To fit in with the theme of the session, we were introduced to Australian philanthropist and future Governor of Western Australia, Malcolm McCusker. Those who haven’t heard of this guy should know his foundation donated more than $4 million to more than 60 charities in the 2010/2011 financial year alone. When asked about his appointment as Governor recently (a position he’ll assume in July this year) he announced he would also be donating his $422,678 salary to charities – basically he’s a really good guy. He’s also exceedingly successful which is what allows him to reach out further than most.
Malcolm provided some valuable insight into how certain events in his life gave rise to him becoming a philanthropist. He also spoke about employees and their tendency to feel better about the place they work when an organisation partakes in philanthropy.
Surprisingly, despite the older age demographic of the session attendees and the formality of the event, the atmosphere was friendly and social and gave us a chance to rub shoulders with some of the most generous people in Western Australia. We were also given the chance to ask some questions and talk one-on-one with Malcolm which was nice.
This year the series will focus on West Australian business people in particular. The fact that we have so many successful West Australian business people lining up to take the spotlight just goes to show how big the scope for success has become in our state in recent years. I for one will be looking forward to seeing how people have made the most of opportunities without having to move interstate and how those successes have turned into opportunities for the local community.
Keep an eye on the blog for more on the Success and Leadership series for 2011.