Adrian Fini, a director of Perth-based FJM Property and an associate professor at the University of Western Australia’s Business School, was recognised for business leadership in the annual Creative Partnerships Awards in Sydney.
Mr Fini was recognised after donating $150,000 to the Perth International Arts Festival, with the money being used to fund new arts programs.
Businessman and pastoralist Tim Fairfax and his wife Gina, of the family behind Fairfax Media, were also recognised for their commitment to the arts sector, with Mr Fairfax claiming that there is no honour in being “the richest man in the cemetery”.
Creative Partnerships Australia, which hosts the awards, aims to help connect businesses willing to support local creative industries with artists and cultural organisations in need of funding.
The event called for greater collaboration between the business and arts communities, given that anyone who has started a business from the ground up knows the very real struggle of living hand-to-mouth, not knowing where their next meal will come from and whether their career path will prove viable over the longer term.
While philanthropy is often thought of as the domain of wealthy or retired individuals, many SMEs and their leaders also reach out to support others.
In doing so, they can enjoy benefits over and above the “feel-good” factor associated with giving.
Brisbane IT recruitment firm Recon Solutions was catapulted into the global limelight last year after the long-term recipient of its support – boxer Jeff Horn – went on to win the world title.
“As a business, the exposure that we’ve got is second to none,” its owner Steve Scanlan told My Business at the time.