Both have worked as clinicians, in the planning and delivery of health services and in academic medicine. Eight years ago they established the Madden Sainsbury Foundation and now share the importance of applying a climate lens with their philanthropic funding.
Climate change and health: In our professional lives, we are keenly aware of how climate change increases illness and death, in Australia and overseas.
As specialists in public health, we advocate for the health sector to take a stronger role in the climate change response, by cutting emissions and preparing for extreme weather events and changing patterns of morbidity.
As philanthropists, we aim to prevent further climate change.
Anthropogenic climate change presents a threat to the natural environment and to human health that is unprecedented.
Professor Lynne Madden
Heat kills more Australians than bushfire, but both are on the increase. Rural Australians are particularly vulnerable due to more droughts, floods and heat. And people who experience a climate disaster can suffer long term mental health problems.
Our climate-related philanthropy as driven by humanitarian and social justice concerns. While climate change affects everyone, wealthier people in developed countries are better placed to protect themselves and rebound from disasters.
We are keenly aware of how climate change increases illness and death, in Australia and overseas
But climate change has been inflicted upon people who don’t have the power or opportunity to stop it; young people, future generations and people who are already underprivileged.
As enthusiastic nature lovers, with a deep appreciation of Australia’s wilder places, a key target of our philanthropy is protecting biodiversity. With strong evidence that other species are jeopardised by climate change, we are giving other species a chance.
Reversing climate change is the biggest health intervention you can do at the moment.
Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
Robert Hicks Foundation