Hamish Balnaves believes medicine, the arts and education are the three fundamental pillars for bettering society. As CEO of the Balnaves Foundation, he is continuing the work of his father, and founder Neil Balnaves AO, to create a better Australia through investment in these three pillars, with a particular focus on the young, the disadvantaged and Indigenous people.
With a corpus of $47 million, the foundation distributes around $3m a year. Grant recipients include cultural institutions such as the Bangarra dance theatre and National Gallery of Australia, medical institutes such as St Vincent’s Hospital and Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and innovative programs such as the Unwired Mental Health Project and Sydney Story Factory.
The foundation’s commitment to Indigenous groups and programs is outworked through scholarships for Indigenous medical students, a Guardian grant for in-depth Indigenous affairs reporting, a 5-year project to address Indigenous hearing issues, Indigenous theatre at Belvoir, and significant financial contribution to the Bangarra Dance Company, Sydney Story Factory in Redfern, and Legs on the Wall (pictured above).