Philanthropy at IGS

No matter which language you say it in, philanthropy means the desire to promote the wellbeing of others.


At International Grammar School, there is a long, very powerful tradition of philanthropy. From the earliest days of the School, where parents were prepared to use their homes to guarantee the prolonged life of the School and teachers went without wages, to the Lunar Festival celebration of 2023, where large numbers of parents devoted their time and energy to that event, the IGS community has shared its love.

The great thing about philanthropy, which has been demonstrated scientifically in recent times, is that those who share also derive great benefit from their actions.

There are some who might think that philanthropy is all about giving money. We are very fortunate at IGS to have a number of people who can, very generously, donate impressive amounts of money to worthy causes, such as our scholarship program. But in truth many in our community are not in a position where they have spare large amounts of money to share. It is my belief that philanthropy is also hugely about sharing time, energy, expertise, experience and even love. Over the years, staff, students, parents, the PTF and members of our community have shared these things time and time again.

You will have noticed that I have used the word ”share” often in these first few paragraphs, as opposed to “give”. This is because we at IGS believe that philanthropy should be a “two-way” transaction. The donator of money or time or energy or expertise is sharing these things with the rest of their community. They are also receiving the gratitude of their community as well as receiving the psychological benefits of their philanthropy. In this spirit, in 2023, on Wednesday, 8 November, IGS will have a “Sharing Day” for the first time, replacing the event previously known as “Giving Day”. A small but meaningful difference, which I hope our community will appreciate.

Parents and Alums sometimes do not realise how valuable a small piece of their time and expertise can be. I know, for instance, that an ex-student came into school for an hour to talk about nursing as a career to five Year 10 students one morning a few years ago. The students were inspired and now they are all studying to become nurses. There are opportunities at IGS for people in our community to give similar talks or even to mentor students who are interested in a particular field of study. Please email if you are interested in sharing your time and expertise in this area.

Volunteering for particular events is another way of sharing. The IGS Parents Teachers and Friends (PTF) have a number of events throughout the year where an extra pair of hands or two can make a world of difference. Events such as the Early Learning and Primary Disco and International Day are THE things that students remember once they have left school, so any help is aiding in providing lifelong positive memories. The PTF always send out calls for volunteers well in advance of events, so please consider it.

Donations to the tax deductible Building Fund help the school to enhance education by enabling IGS to construct purpose built facilities for our students. We prioritise upgrading our current buildings and cementing the School in Ultimo through strategic property acquisitions as well as expanding our footprint to include our new Retreat in Kangaroo Valley. This improves the learning experiences for our current students as well as future generations. We also have our Library Fund which helped us build our award-winning Bibliothèque. All donations to our school are deeply appreciated and really make a difference.

The Scholarship Fund is one of the flagships of IGS. The School offers academic scholarships in Year 7 and 11 as well as two Indigenous Scholarships in each year group starting from Kindergarten. This means that each year, the school is providing tuition, materials and support to nearly 30 students. This is a huge financial undertaking by the School but one which, I believe, our whole community benefits from and derives pride from. These scholarships give these students the opportunity to excel and is something that the school has been very proud about offering for over 20 years.

International Grammar is a school based on community, caring, shared experiences and thoughtfulness to others. Philanthropy within our community would seem to me to be an excellent fit for our School.

Paul Galea
Director of Advancement