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Bill and Melinda Gates foster philanthropy down under

Bill and Melinda Gates met with some of Australia's wealthiest next gens last week as part of a programme to promote philanthropy among the nation's younger high net worth individuals.
Bill and Melinda Gates attend the Millennium Development Goals event
Mary Altaffer/AP/Press Association Images

Bill and Melinda Gates met with some of Australia's wealthiest next gens last week as part of a programme to promote philanthropy among the nation's younger high net worth individuals.

The Gates – who have already given away a reported $28 billion (€20.6 billion) through their foundation – met with 20 scions of some of Australia's most famous dynasties for three hours in San Francisco.

Amanda Feenstra, daughter of communications baron Harold Mitchell, was on the trip, as well as Prue Pateras, a third gen of the Fairfax Media dynasty.

The meeting was orchestrated by Philanthropy Australia, which represents wealthy philanthropic families and their foundations, as well as corporate trusts.

The next gens were recruited onto the organisation's New Generation of Giving programme, which was aimed at potential future large-scale philanthropists under the age of 40.

Some of those on the trip were already involved in their families' foundations and Louise Walsh, chief executive of Philanthropy Australia, told The Australian that a lot of them were challenging their parents approach to giving.

Many, according to Walsh, wanted to move away from their parent's passive endowments-based philanthropy to become more engaged in running their foundations.

Philanthropy Australia is aiming to have at least 500 members on its New Generation scheme by 2015.

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