Iconic entrepreneur is looking for Australia’s next philanthropists

17 Sep 2018
  • Dick Smith will donate $100 000 to The Shepherd Centre to help fund programs for families living in regional, rural and remote communities
  • Smith is calling on Australia’s billionaires to step up and match his donation
  • The Shepherd Centre have launched the 10 for 10 Dick Smith Challenge to find 10 donors to contribute $10 000 each

Thursday 13th September, 2018: Sydney, Australia – Australian entrepreneur and businessman Dick Smith, announced he was donating $100 000 to The Shepherd Centre, a world-leading charity for that provides programs and services for children with hearing loss.

The entrepreneur and philanthropist also used the opportunity to call on the wealthiest of Australians and encourage them to take up charitable giving to support their communities. Smith has thrown down a challenge to fellow millionaires and business people to match his donation. “We now have 75 billionaires in Australia and only 15% of them are known as philanthropists,” said Smith as part of his announcement.

The Shepherd Centre has pledged that the funds raised by Dick Smith’s philanthropy challenge will go towards supporting services for regional families. Rather than put the pressure on a single donor, the organisation is looking to find 10 donors to donate $10, 000. The 10 for 10 Dick Smith challenge will support all of The Shepherd Centre’s regional initiatives, such as the Wollongong centre which offers the full suite of family counselling, Listening and Spoken Language Therapy and Audiology services and is the first port of call for families in southern NSW.

The organisation have developed a teleintervention program that is delivered via regular video conferencing and online learning courses, giving families and carers the tools to continue therapy at home. Teleintervention can be accessed by children and families Australia-wide and has transformed the provision of services for families who live significant distances from centres, or who aren’t able to attend in person due to circumstance. Lastly funds would support outreach visits to regional centres of NSW, the ACT and Tasmania by The Shepherd Centre’s clinical team, enabling highly trained therapists to travel and meet with families in person, hold workshops and conduct one-on-one and group therapy.

Dr Jim Hungerford, CEO of The Shepherd Centre, said he was impressed by the entrepreneur’s pledge and encouraged by the task set by Smith to fellow Australians.
‘Australians love a competitive sport, so we’re keen to see who might rise to the challenge. We saw a great synergy between Dick’s love of rural communities and the work we do in both regional and remote areas so
we’d love to hear from an individual or business who shares this interest. Hearing loss does not discriminate and distance should not be a hindrance to quality care,’ said Dr Hungerford.

The former Australian of the Year founded the Dick Smith Foods Foundation in 2013 giving over $10 million dollars to more than 400 charitable organisations. He was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2015 for outstanding service to the community, humanitarian and social welfare programs, and to medical research, the visual arts and aviation.

On Friday he was named the 2018 Australian Father of the Year alongside Community Father of the Year, Leigh Chivers. Smith was honoured for his decision to sell Dick Smith Electronics in 1980 to spend more time with his two daughters and his life-long involvement with charities.

Unprompted, Smith announced the generous donation to the hearing loss children’s charity while calling on others to give back.

For more information on the 10 for 10 Dick Smith Challenge here.

ENDS

For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Katie Bartolillo
The Shepherd Centre
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
02 9370 4479
[email protected]

About The Shepherd Centre:

The Shepherd Centre is a NSW-based not-for-profit organisation specialising in early intervention to help children who are deaf and hearing-impaired develop spoken language skills.
Since its foundation, The Shepherd Centre has opened up a world of sound for more than 2,000 children who are deaf or hearing impaired. The organisation is recognised as a world leader in the field of Listening and Spoken Language early intervention, providing families with assistance to develop their child’s speech, so they can reach their full potential.