Australians live in a prosperous, developed nation with good wages and a very high standard of living1. We are the 12th largest economy in the world.

A better future for all is very much part of our national fabric:

  • We spend $154 billion in social services every year – a figure that will rise to around $227 billion over the next decade2;
  • We give another $11 billion in philanthropic funds every year;
  • About 70% of us individually donate money to a charity3;
  • All up, when it comes to the human services sector, the future spend is probably close to $300 billion4 a year.

Despite all the innovations, the ambulance is still stationed at the bottom of the cliff.

For all its wealth, Australia ranks poorly5 on the very investments that are going to make a difference to inequality. For instance:

  • We are seeing an alarming rise in complex chronic conditions – around 25% of 5-14 year olds are overweight or obese; harmful drinking is also rising
  • There’s increasing income disparity overall – which is very closely linked with poor health and well-being
  • Aboriginal children’s well-being and disparity across multiple domains is up6
  • Around 22% of Australian children7 are today considered vulnerable in one or more of the domains on the Early Childhood Development Index.

What other industry can afford to spend $250 plus billion and not innovate to drive better results?

All of us want to create and support a future we believe in, for ourselves, our families and for the next generation.  We must acknowledge as leaders of organisations and members of communities that:

  • We are facing complex, systemic issues
  • Money alone won’t fix the problem
  • There’s no ready formula for solving some of society’s biggest issues
  • We need new thinking, new answers, and more efficient use of existing resources
  • It’s time for a new model and a new approach, one that co-ordinates action, data and all the people and organisations who care, towards a common goal and shared agenda for change.
  • We can achieve more collectively, than individually.
  • We must keep changing to get results for all our children.

This is the passion and purpose of ten20.



  1. M Turnbull Brisbane Club address, March 2015. Note – original source shows that the UN Human Development Index, a measure of quality of life, ranks Australia 2nd in 2014, only behind Norway. OECD online statistics also show the average wage in Australia (US$50,000) is the 4th highest in the 34 member OECD.
  2. Scott Morrison Philanthropy Australia Summit speech, Sept 2015 for this and next data point
  3. OECD Society at a Glance 2014. Figure is from 2012 data.
  4. $300 billion is the figure used by Aust Fin Review and quoted by Wendy Haigh, Benevolent Society, Sept 2014
  5. Compared to the rest of the OECD, ARACY Report Card: The Wellbeing of Young Australians 2014
  6. Presentation slides, Fiona Stanley Annual Forum 2014: Australia’s well-being in 2034: Closing the gap between our aspirations and our effort for this and above data oints
  7. Opportunity Child website, 2015. AEDI statistic