The Tipping Foundation was established in 1970 to continue the work of Edmond William “Bill” Tipping, a prominent Melbourne journalist, social commentator and disability advocate.
Graeme Kelly, CEO of Tipping, recently sat down for a chat with Paul Tipping, the eldest son of E.W. (Bill) Tipping. We captured parts of their conversation in this video series reflecting on the man, and the family, that our organisation is named in honour of.
Bill Tipping was a bit of a workaholic, for he was a man who was passionate about a fair go.
Tipping saw and wrote of many social justice issues in the 50’s and 60’s, and brought them to the attention of those who read his column in the Herald. Paul talks here about how his father had a way to find people’s hearts.
“…the pen is mightier than the sword, he did use it to affect social change. He did it rather well with a bit of style, and a bit of passion…”
In this video, Paul talks about his younger brother Pete, who was born with cerebral palsy, and the memory of his brother’s laughter in the family home.
“…every now and then it would just erupt in the household. If the mood needed leveling a bit, Pete was able to do it and bring us all back to Earth.”
He also discusses the prestigious Nieman fellowship in journalism that this father was awarded, which saw the family moving to Boston in the US for a time.
“There were some pretty horrific stories around the Kew Cottages because the community didn’t know about it, and ‘abject neglect’ was probably the best way to describe the attitudes of governments and agencies of the time…”
Bill Tipping wrote several stories highlighting the terrible conditions at Kew Cottages in the 1950’s which ultimately let to action on both the part of the government of the day and the community to improve the conditions there.
One appeal he initiated raised $50,000, which was matched dollar for dollar by the government. This funding facilitated some much needed repairs and an upgrade of the facilities at Kew Cottages, which Bill continued to visit and write about as progress was made.
Paul talks about the importance of fundraising and highlights some of general bequests that have helped the Foundation continue.
He also talks about his mother Marjorie Tipping, who was instrumental in our organisation’s history and development. She raised a considerable amount of money to continue the good work of The Tipping Foundation.
“I think that generations of Foundation people drew on mum’s knowledge … and knowing she had some personal experience in disability helped fortify them…”
The Tipping Foundation today is one of Victoria’s most established not-for-profit providers of disability and community services for people with disability, and for young people who are vulnerable. We employ around 1300 staff who work with, and support, people with disability and their families and carers right across Victoria.
To learn more about our services – click here.