Little theatre inspires big donation from unique philanthropic alliance

AAR La Mama Richard Watts, Caitlin Dullard & Liz Jones - photo by Rick EvertszJust over a year after the devastating fire, La Mama Theatre has announced that the million dollar contribution by State Government has been matched by a philanthropy collaboration including: Sidney Myer Fund, John T Reid Charitable Trusts, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Gandel Philanthropy and an anonymous donation.

“La Mama is at the heart of Victoria and Australia’s cultural and creative life,” said Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley. “The Andrews Labor Government is proud to have contributed $1 million to jumpstart this important project which will not only rebuild La Mama but make it even stronger and more accessible for the next generation…”

“I’m delighted that this has inspired some of our country’s leading philanthropists to band together and contribute an additional $1 million, putting La Mama within reach of its fundraising target. I acknowledge their generosity and that of every member of the community who has dug deep to contribute to La Mama’s future.”

Led by Vedran Drakulic OAM CEO of Gandel Philanthropy and Carrillo Gantner AC, Chairman of the Sidney Myer Fund, each of the five Trusts/Foundations/Donors have generously given equal gifts resulting in a significant $1 million total contribution. The philanthropy collaboration is pleased to support the rebuild of this important community infrastructure, including achieving best practice disability access standards.

“This was a unique opportunity for us as a sector to come together to support a vital place we all believe in,” said Vedran Drakulic said on behalf of the philanthropic alliance. “We are proud to be working alongside government and La Mama’s diverse community of supporters to champion the future of this iconic theatre and hub for so many artists…”

“La Mama is a true symbol of Melbourne and its art scene. It is a much needed and unique institution that is an essential and vibrant part of the theatre ecology of the Australian theatre scene, and together we are proud to ensure it rebuilds and continues strongly into the future.”

The cost of rebuilding La Mama is anticipated to be $3,095,788 – we’re 95% of the way there but still need that last 5%. Now is the moment to join us in forging our future! We need the support of our community to raise the remaining: $145,898

Long-standing Artistic Director and CEO, Liz Jones and Chair of La Mama, Richard Watts, said of this significant boost to their fundraising drive: “This philanthropic alliance is a beautiful demonstration of the strength and impact of community and collective action,” they said.

“We are all stronger when we work together for a common cause. We wish to express our heartfelt thanks… By matching the Andrews Government’s support, these philanthropists and their trusts and foundations have demonstrated that they believe La Mama matters. We’re now so close to being able to rebuild. We just need that last little bit. ”

For more information and to help La Mama rebuild, visit: for details

Image: La Mama Richard Watts, Caitlin Dullard & Liz Jones – photo by Rick Evertsz