Protter Family Gift

Despite supporting the not-for-profit organisation The Hunger Project for over twenty years, Deborah Protter had never thought of herself as a philanthropist. “I thought that was for billionaires. We saw ourselves more as investors and partners in ending hunger.” That was until a year ago, when Deborah attended an APS talk in Perth, to learn more about philanthropy, both for The Hunger Project, and her own interest. “After that talk I realised that’s exactly what I am.”

Deborah and her husband Miles have only recently established a sub-fund in the APS Foundation, the public ancillary fund established by APS. However they began their journey in giving 23 years ago. From the start they were looking to fund one large organisation where they could donate time and skills as well as money, rather than a number of small organisations.

Working in Africa, India and Bangladesh, The Hunger Project (THP) works to break the cycle of poverty and hunger. THP aims to foster self-reliance, and empower women in particular, working in partnership with local communities to unlock creativity, leadership and capacity, and enable the communities to end hunger themselves.

“I liked that THP talked about investing. We saw early on that the return on investment was clear, we could see the impact of the giving” The organisation also aligned with Deborah’s own values. “I liked their approach of starting with girls and education. Their work spoke to me personally as I’ve always been involved with education (Deborah has a consultancy focused on mentoring and coaching leaders). Gender equality is very important, it’s crucial that women are the key to ending hunger.”

Deborah’s commitment to THP has increased over the years, giving more of her time and skills. She is currently Chair of the Development Board for WA, and dedicates one day a week to advocate and fundraise.

Establishing a sub-fund in the APS Foundation was a natural progression in Deborah’s philanthropic journey. “Having the sub-fund has helped us to cement our long-term commitment to THP, and provides us with a way to give direction to our giving as a family. Our daughter, now 22, has always valued what we’re doing with THP, but never felt part of it. Having this vehicle provided us with a way to have that conversation and talk about what’s important to us as a family.”

What does Deborah enjoy the most about her partnership with THP? “I love seeing our work on the ground, meeting the people in the villages, hearing their stories, and then returning to Australia and sharing those stories with others. “Deborah’s advice for others beginning their journey: “It’s about finding your passion, finding your home for your giving. Once you’ve got that, it transforms everything in your life. For me it’s now part of who I am.”