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Kindness Stories

The University of Adelaide Distinguished Alumni Awards 2014

The University of Adelaide Distinguished Alumni Awards  2014

The University of Adelaide's alumni have distinguished themselves throughout the world in their individual fields.

Our alumni include names such as:

Dr Andy Thomas, the first Australian in space,

Antarctic explorer and geologist Sir Douglas Mawson,

Nuclear physicist Sir Mark Oliphant,

The Honourable Julia Gillard MP ex Prime Minister of Australia 

And current President of Singapore Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam.


2014 Recipients

  • Her Excellency Ms Frances Adamson (B Ec 1985) - in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contribution in the field of International Relations.  
  • Professor David David AC (M B B S 1966, M D 1999) - in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contribution nationally and internationally in the field of Craniofacial Surgery.

  • Mr Philip Laffer AM (R D A 1961, R D Oen 1963) - in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contribution to the Global Wine Industry.

  • Mr Philip Wollen OAM (B Ec 1977) - in recognition of his outstanding leadership and humanitarian commitments to children, aspiring youth, animals, the environment, and to the terminally ill.

    Philip Wollen 

    Philip receiving the "Distinguished Alumni Award" at the University of Adelaide on Wednesday from the Vice Chancellor, Dr Warren Bebbington.

Morning Star Story

Morning Star Children's Home:

Morning Star Children's Home was started by John Samson 18 years ago. He found a starving 2 year old child thrown in a filthy rubbish bin. He took the child and built a "shed" with tin, asbestos sheets and rejected concrete blocks. It was smaller than a dumpster and resembled a kennel.


Museum Victoria - Manufacturing History

Commentary: Australian manufacturing history. . . . . . Philip Wollen

Many years ago, when I was an ambition young man, I took over a company called Hecla.   

This business was formed in 1872, long before Federation was even contemplated. The company established a rich tradition in the Australian manufacturing industry. The prodigious product range included kettles, mixers, toasters, hairdryers, urns, pie warmers, bain maries, and electric blankets for the domestic and commercial market. During the war it even manufactured parts for aircraft. It was one of Melbourne’s largest employers.


Philip Wollen’s influential speech spell-binds

The Indus Entrepreneur Summit - Delhi

By Onkar Sharma

philip-wollen philanthropist

The TiE Summit was different on 22 December 2010, not in terms of the entrepreneurial success stories, but in terms of a speech from a philanthropist that pierced our conscience to the core. Hardly do I remember a speech of this kind in my entire lifetime. For me, it was an eye-opener at the Shri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. The speech did not eulogize any business idea, nor any money making trick. Instead, it was on environment, peace and vegetarianism. Maneka Gandhi introduced Philip Wollen to the hordes of entrepreneurs who had rejoined the hall after lunch. Initially everyone thought if it was Maneka Gandhi, it would be something impractical argument in favour of animals. But she began her address benignly showering ceaseless accolades on Wollen. Still everyone felt that she was doing a marcom job for someone who is less popular in India.


Maneka Gandhi’s article on Philip Wollen

Published in several Indian Newspapers.

Everyone in the animal welfare movement knows that the Australian, Philip Wollen, is not a human being. He is from another planet. They simply do not make humans like him anymore. He went from Bangalore to Australia when he was young, taught himself, got a job in a bank, rose to the top, left it, became rich and now donates all his money to animals and orphans and people who need it. He does so on a moment's notice. He doesn't want paperwork, he just needs to trust you and he does that easily. He picks up fights with aggressively anti animal governments and media, he pays for lectures , he supports Sea Shepherd and goes out on the ships himself to chase off Japanese whalers, he builds sanctuaries in Asia for bears. On top of that, he is tall, handsome, well read, a vegan, speaks his mind, jokes a lot and writes deliciously. He lives in Melbourne with a beautiful wife, Trix and they work to make their money save the world. The name of their initiative is "Winsome Constance Kindness". Obviously he has landed here on a UFO and the technical word for his species is 'angel'.


Only Kindness Matters

View the original article in PDF format >

He was the self-made man who made it to the top of the corporate tree. It is his work as a philanthropist, however, that has won him respect and an Australian of the Year award. KAREN HARDING speaks to The Man Who Gave It All Away.

By the time he was 40, Philip Wollen had the corporate world at his feet.

A merchant banker, he was Vice-President of Citibank at 34 and a general manager at Citicorp. He was named one of the top 40 headhunted executives in Australia by Australian Business Magazine. He had the material trappings of a successful executive and his favourite meal was filet mignon and lobster.


Radical kindness: the banker who gave it all away

By Katherine Kizilos, The Age


Philip and Trix Wollen own Kindness House in Fitzroy, where two thirds of the tenants don't pay rent.

ON THE face of it, kindness doesn't sound like a radical idea, just as Philip Wollen, at first glance, does not look like a radical. Wollen is a former merchant banker. He was a vice-president of Citibank when he was 34, and a general manager at Citicorp. Australian Business Magazine named him one of the top 40 headhunted executives in Australia. But about 1990 — he is not exactly sure of the year — Wollen decided to give away 90 per cent of his capital, a process he desc ribes as "reverse tithing".


Vegan Challenge - Interview with Philip Wollen

 PhilWollenPhilip Wollen is someone very special. He is a big man with a big heart and most importantly he's BIG on vision. Phil is a 59 year old Merchant Banker, OAM, Queens Birthday Honours 2005, Australian of the Year Victoria 2007 and Founder of The Winsome Constance Kindness Trust (WCKT)www.kindnesstrust.com . Phil and his partner Trix work tirelessly to help those in need and sponsor over 200 non profit organizations around the world. When Phil founded the WCKT he stated it had five fingers, namely, "Children, Animals, the Ill, the Environment and Aspiring Youth".

This passion, alongside WCKT's first core belief: "Act. Don't react. See a need, fix it first. Worry about the details later. If you wait until you are asked you have just missed a golden opportunity. They are fleeting and rare." sums up Phil as a man of action who has all bases covered!


Ahimsa, A Way of Life


More than six years ago, Purnima Toolsidass, an animal welfare activist, was amazed when she received an email from the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust in Australia. The sender was entrepreuner-turned-humanitarian Philip Wollen.