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For many of the clients we support, their path to structured philanthropy is paved by the wish to use their accumulated wealth to establish and grow a legacy as well as inspire and educate the next generation of the family to care about the connection between wealth and the ability to have a positive social impact.

Families involve their successors, their next generation – whether that be siblings, children, or extended family - at various stages of their philanthropy journey. The level of involvement of this next generation often depends on the amount of time they have available outside of education and establishing careers and families.

The next generation of the Pawlowski family, are well and truly at the decision making table and assisting to drive philanthropic decisions. This active involvement started from a strategic planning session (the Giving Consultancy) led by their Relationship Manager in 2019. In this session, Caitlin, the youngest daughter in her 20s, discussed with her parents her desire to take a hands-on role in the family’s philanthropy, sooner rather than later.

“Mum and Dad have had this fund for a number of years, and to be honest, our giving before we went through the Giving Consultancy was ad-hoc, we weren’t invested in the process and when it came time to make a decision around our giving each year, we made decisions that reflected our individual interests. The Giving Consultancy process gave us clarity as a family and reinforced that we want to do more than just give money – building a relationship with the charity is key”.

Passionate about supporting women, and inspired by the experiences of friends and family, Caitlin and her family have made a commitment to invest in breast cancer research. In 2020 Caitlin connected with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, steering funding to the work of Associate Professor Theresa Hickey from University of Adelaide who is exploring new ways to attack the most aggressive (triple negative and endocrine resistant) breast cancers.

COVID-19 meant that an in-person meeting with Associate Professor Hickey and her team had to be delayed to May 2021. But once it did Caitlin heard firsthand the significant progress Associate Professor Hickey has made on the project in the previous 12 months.

Initial testing of one of the drugs that Associate Professor Hickey is investigating has shown promising anti-cancer efficacy in triple negative breast cancer laboratory models. The team is confident that these experiments will provide crucial initial data to advance to clinical trials in the near future. A number of presentations have already been delivered to the research community and further experimental work is underway to publish this encouraging results in a highly regarded scientific journal.

For Caitlin, visiting the University lab and hearing personally from Associate Professor Hickey was an exhilarating experience: “I feel so connected to this project now. To see Theresa and her PhD students in the lab, having them explain their work, step by step was fantastic. I’m in absolute awe of them, their work and the potential impact of their research for women everywhere.”

Charney Rooza, Philanthropy Manager at National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has been working closely with Caitlin and Equity Trustees over the past two years.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Caitlin,” said Charney. “From matching her with Associate Professor Hickey, based on her areas of interest, to keeping her up to date with the project’s developments. We don’t often have a chance to work with young philanthropists, so this is a really exciting opportunity for us. Breast cancer research is a long game and it’s wonderful that there are philanthropists out there like Caitlin and her family who want to engage with us on an on-going basis.”

Caitlin added: “Being more involved with NBCF, I realised what I could contribute to and help make a difference with, is much bigger than myself. This isn’t about my family and me. It’s about supporting medical research for women and families out there, especially those who are struck down with this disease unexpectedly. I could never turn my back on these women, knowing that I have an opportunity to help. The experience to date has been so humbling, and I’m really looking forward to the next steps of this journey.”

Caitlin made a decision to support Associate Professor Hickey’s research for a second year.

If you and your family would like to experience the Giving Consultancy or gain greater connection to organisations you’re passionate about – speak with your Relationship Manager.