Mr Sam Weiss
President, the Benevolent Society
With more than thirty years experience working with leading consumer companies around the globe, Sam Weiss is highly regarded as a Company Chairman, Director, and Corporate Advisor. Sam devotes considerable time and energy to the arts, education, and community through his work, most notably as President of The Benevolent Society.
Sam discovered the Benevolent Society ten years ago through his involvement with the Sydney Leadership Program. ‘This year long program introduced me to many challenging issues for Australia both then and now such as asylum seekers, community, and early childhood education. Subsequently I provided pro-bono advice to The Benevolent Society and eventually joined its Board.’
Sam was awarded the AICD NFP Chairman Course Scholarship in 2012, a course only offered to chairman of the boards of not for profit organisations. This course proved greatly beneficial to Sam and his work at the Benevolent Society. ‘The best thing that a Chairman can do for a Board and a Board can do for any organisation is to maintain a laser like focus on its core purpose and then bring to bear its resources to best delivering on that purpose.’
Sam’s own personal passion is education, and the Benevolent Society provides a range of programs, such as The GoodStart Learning Centres and their Early Years Integrated Family Centres, to help kids get the best education and start in life. ‘Beyond learning and training, which are valuable in their own right, education provides confidence and empowerment. When done well, this can create the spark for innovation that can lead to lasting positive social change.’
Sam is passionate about the many hardworking people who power the not for profit sector with their enthusiasm and dedication, and hopes the social benefits of his work will be reflected in future generations of Australians having quality education. The Australian Scholarships Foundation plays a key part in this: by helping to educate staff who are working to bring about these changes. ‘The Australian Scholarships Foundation provides an additional source of fuel for the not for profit sector: education. For not for profit organisations to compete and survive the staff need to have the education and skills that will enable them to best achieve their respective missions. The ASF provides this, and more.’
The Benevolent Society is Australia’s first charity, founded in 1813. Established as a non-religious, non-profit, independent charity, the Benevolent Society has continued to pioneer social change since its inception. Now with one hundred and forty five services and sixty three office locations around Australia, the organisation advocates progressive and positive social change. The Benevolent Society’s focus is to initiate change through long term commitment with individuals and the greater community, treating the underlying problems rather than just the symptoms.