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Early Visionary Beginnings: Lord Mayor Sir John Swanson
Melbourne's Lord Mayor Sir John Swanson was a successful businessman and philanthropist.
In 1923 Sir John worked to establish the Lord Mayor's Fund for Metropolitan Hospitals and Charities with the vision of organising and co-ordinating charitable giving in Melbourne.
A visionary thinker, Sir John was convinced it was possible to provide the city's hospitals and charities with an assured stream of income. His idea to centralise fundraising through a scheme based on a community chest was welcomed by the Charities Board, which had been established in 1922 to coordinate fundraising efforts in the metropolitan area.
The Lord Mayor's Fund for Metropolitan Hospital and Charities was officially opened by Acting Premier Sir William McPherson on 14 June 1923 at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Over the past 90 years, the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation has continued to be a connection for people who are able to give, charitable organisations and those in genuine need. Tens of millions of dollars has been fundraised and granted to charities and public hospitals since 1923.
Sir John's vision has inspired generations of giving, and paved the way for Melbourne to be the centre for philanthropy in Australia. The Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation will always be an important and leading philanthropic force in Melbourne.