Anne Kantor AO will be remembered as one of the pioneers of environmental philanthropy in Australia, Chief Executive of the Australian Conservation Foundation Kelly O’Shanassy said today.

As family and friends gather for a memorial service in Melbourne today, Ms O’Shanassy said many involved in environmental advocacy, particularly women, owed Ms Kantor a debt of gratitude.

“Anne understood the power of people, and of community, to effect change. She was ahead of her time, actively supporting and funding environment, Indigenous, and social welfare issues and organisations well before philanthropic giving as a catalyst for change in these areas was well understood.

“Anne was a humble person, but she was also courageous. She understood and boldly funded advocacy for systems change. Anne and her family generously supported ACF for many years. 

Through the Kantor family and Mark Wootton, ACF received the extraordinary gift of our head office - The Green Building at 60 Leicester St, Carlton, in 2009,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“Anne was a founding supporter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which began in Melbourne in 2006 and in 2017 received the Nobel Peace Prize for its pivotal work in the UN adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

“Another vital legacy Anne has created is the mentoring of young women in environmental advocacy. There are many women now in leadership positions who owe much of their success to Anne.”

Anne was recognised with an Order of Australia award for her philanthropic support of a range of community organisations, and to the environment.

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