Philanthropy 2017-10-09T03:51:58+00:00

Peter McMullin is an active philanthropist.

Consistent with his view that the private sector has an important role in addressing social issues, Peter has made philanthropic contributions for many years to a wide variety of organisations supporting refugees, indigenous Australians, education, international cooperation and the arts and creative industries.

Keen to ensure philanthropy in Australia has the optimal positive impact, Peter has in the past served as a Board Member and currently continues to be an active member of Philanthropy Australia. As the peak body, Philanthropy Australia serves a community of funders, social investors and social change agents working to achieve positive social, cultural, environmental and community change by leveraging their financial assets and influence.

Peter McMullin’s Philanthropic support has included:


In recent times Peter and his wife Ruth have donated substantial funds to the Melbourne Law School within the University of Melbourne to establish the Peter McMullin Centre on Statelessness.  This will be the world’s first and only academic centre devoted to the problem of statelessness. This Centre on Statelessness will examine the causes and extent of statelessness around the world, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. It will work with Governments, the not-for-profit sector and the United Nations towards the elimination of statelessness and protect the rights of stateless people.

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The Arts & Creative Industries

Peter has long been a supporter of the arts and creative industries in Melbourne, with much of his support coming through the significant roles he has held within the industry. Some of Peter’s positions have included:

  • Chairman of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival (2000-2008)
  • Deputy President of Museums Board of Victoria (2000-2010)
  • Trust Member of Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust (2004-2012)
  • President of Geelong Art Gallery (2005-2013)
  • Board Member of the National Portrait Gallery (2011-2015)

Peter McMullin is also currently on the Melbourne Development Committee for the Australian Chamber Orchestra as well as being a Medici Patron, supporting the Artistic Director and Lead Violinist, Richard Tognetti.


In June 2017, Peter hosted a function, together with Julie Kantor,  to support the work of Professor Mick Dodson, Chairman of the Nations Centre for Indigenous Studies (NCIS) at the Australian National University.  The NCIS promotes and initiates cross-disciplinary research and teaching in a wide range of areas of relevance to Indigenous Australians. Through this research, NCIS aims to deepen Australia’s understanding of Indigenous cultures and histories and ensure Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and experiences are respected, valued, accessed and incorporated into all learning environments at The Australian National University and beyond.


Peter was a Founding Director of the Small Change Foundation which has developed into the leading Foundation for young Australians. He has also supported many educational initiatives over the years including support of Western Chances, which is an organisation that believes in the power of education to transform lives.

Western Chances Found Chair is Terry Bracks AM and their objective is to give young people in Melbourne’s west the chance to fulfil their potential and overcome barriers to success by providing scholarships, opportunity programs and ongoing support.

International Cooperation

Peter has been actively involved for many years, in varying capacities with Timor-Leste. Since 2008 Peter has mentored the establishment and operation of Timor-Leste Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

At the time of inception, the then Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, considered the establishment of this Chamber of Commerce and Industry “a national priority for the development of this country”.

Other roles that have seen Peter make significant contributions in this space include:

  • Senior International Business Advisor for the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Timor Leste
  • Council Member to Victoria University