Ellen Koshland

Ellen Koshland is a visionary philanthropist who is passionate about education and championing women’s literature.

Change Agent

Ellen’s commitment to education in Victoria represents one of the most remarkable and relentless campaigns to address the serious inequities facing many young people and their families.

In 1989, she established the Small Change Foundation to improve learning and life outcomes for young people in the public education system. Renamed the Education Foundation, it raised more than $10 million to fund over 500 innovative programs in Victoria and nationally, supporting many students in government schools to develop their talents and foster a love of learning. In 2008, the Education Foundation became a permanent division of The Foundation for Young Australians, where Ellen was a Board Director for five years.

Ellen is the founding patron of the Stella Prize, a major literary award celebrating Australian women’s writing. Five years on, the organisation continues to champion cultural change and empower women and girls to find their creative voices. She is also the director of The Poet’s Voice, and organisation dedicated to enhancing the role of poetry in the public realm.

Ellen is a founding partner of the Global Education Leaders Partnership, a powerful alliance of global education leaders who seek to transform education to meet the needs of the future through new methods, curriculum and assessment.

She established the Koshland Innovation Fund to stimulate new thinking about education in Australia. The Fund established the Australian Learning Lecture, a collaboration with the State Library of Victoria to bring innovative ideas and new approaches to learning to national attention.

Through extraordinary philanthropy, a deep understanding of what is required to drive systemic change, and an unwavering commitment to social justice, Ellen continues to make an exceptional contribution to education in Victoria and Australian women’s writing.