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Rosemary Mangiamele is an artist, former occupational therapist and a dedicated philanthropist. After caring for her uncle in the final stages of his life, Rosemary was overwhelmed to find that he had left her some money in his Will. She saw the inheritance as an opportunity to set up a philanthropic trust which she named The Cuming Bequest in his honour.

Since the trust’s creation in 2006, Rosemary has been increasing her knowledge of the charitable sector as well as organisations that resonate with her. “When I first started, I funded organisations that myself or my family had a personal experience with, for example the Gawler Cancer Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association,” she said. “These are organisations that are working toward some important outcomes for illnesses that have affected my family.”

Rosemary is now on a self-proclaimed journey of learning as she practises philanthropy. While still funding organisations that have always been close to her heart, Rosemary now looks to new funding opportunities as well, seeking out organisations, opportunities and people that connect with her values.

Rosemary has gone beyond just areas impacting her and her family to areas that she feels passionately about for others. A few years ago, Rosemary led an art class for asylum seekers which gave her a first-hand understanding of some of the challenges asylum seekers face. Hearing their stories on a weekly basis painted a picture of struggle and disadvantage that inspired Rosemary to support the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) for the first time in the 2018-19 financial year.

In selecting ASRC, Rosemary utilized her decision-making framework and asked herself how she felt about their capacity-building needs, their objectives and their authentic campaign updates. Her selection was confirmed when Rosemary attended an ASRC event and was struck by the collective effort from all of the philanthropists in the room assisting ASRC to achieve traction against their various campaigns. “Through the practise of philanthropy over the last decade, I have met some wonderful, values-aligned people, and together we’ve been able to work towards some amazingly positive community change.”