About the Foundation
As it goes with most truly great adventures, it was while traveling through Africa with his wife, Mara that Dominique first came up with the idea for the Lyone Foundation. “Africa is not so much of a holiday, it’s more of a spiritual experience” says Dominique. During that trip he and Mara had many conversations about life, it’s meaning, and the future, eventually deciding that because the world had been so good to them that they’d like to give back somehow, and the best way to do that was through a foundation that would become the “legacy of the work” done at COS.
Dominique knew right away that he wanted the foundation to be run by the family, he went about setting up some important ground rules including that there were to be no wages drawn, and that the foundation must never pay for anything for the family, nothing was to be expensed. The foundation was to be a “vehicle of giving”.
What was also of great importance to Dominique was that COS staff would play a part in giving. Each year every COS branch is allocated a sum of money and along with a volunteer committee, the branches choose who to donate the money to. For Dominique, the best part of this is witnessing the transformation that happens to staff who work on the committee.
They are responsible for a large sum of money, and they are tasked with researching, and deep diving into charities to decide where that money should go which exposes them to just how much need there is and gives them a true understanding of what charity is, at its core. What they discover is some amazing people, giving of their time and energy, and doing truly incredible work. For many staff it’s powerful, raw, and emotional. There have been many tears shed during this process each year.
The focus has always been on Human Welfare, this is the core value of the Lyone Foundation. The reason for this is the charity support that the Lyone family received when Dominique and his family first arrived in Australia in the late 1960’s. Without this support Dominique wonders how they would have survived. People showed up to support them in so many ways. Food, clothes, books for school, Australians were very generous. This is still true today, and there is still so much need.
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