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John Wylie and Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie are the winners of the Creative Partnerships Australia Philanthropy Leadership Award. F&P’s Fiona Atkinson caught up with them to talk about the winning ingredients of their top-down philanthropy

[caption id="attachment_382685" align="aligncenter" width="1240"] The Ian Potter Queen’s Hall, State Library Victoria.[/caption]

“In truth, we kind of made it up on the spot,” says John Wylie AM of his meeting with the Victorian government, in which he walked away with a $60 million gift for the redevelopment of the State Library Victoria.

“I went to see Dan Andrews and James Merlino back in 2014, before the election, and said ‘We've got this great idea for the library. Development will cost $90 million. Could you give us the money?’ And they didn’t say no, but they didn’t say yes, either. And so, pretty much on the spot, I said, ‘How about two-thirds from you, and we’ll fundraise the rest?’ And they said ‘Okay’!” 

It may not come as a surprise that John Wylie has a reputation as a master negotiator. Described by his wife Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie as “a man of action”, the couple have made waves in both business and philanthropy for several decades, across several…
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